James McKeown, guitarist for Hi-Fiction Science, steps away from that lab and into a more pastoral setting for his upcoming solo release, English Dream. Building off his earlier self-titled, English Dream is another departure from the more progressive work with Hi-Fiction Science, though the folk underpinnings of that outfit are nurtured here as well, but in a more lilting, subdued fashion. McKweon tackles the vocal duties as well, save for a couple instrumental cuts like the outstanding Life Aboard The International Space Station, marryinghis ethereal voice with a heavy dose of acoustic guitar work. English Dream revels in a bucolic vibe, frosted with a twinge of melancholy, shored up by the languid tempo and lyrics (shallow graves never sounded so enticing and tranquil as they do on The Architect’s Grave). Going by the album’s title and rural, folk bent you’d expect some sort of idealized postcard of the countryside across the pond, but English Dream carries more weight than is apparent on the surface. Lyrical and musical roots in the loam make the stories, passages and the dream more tangible, and relatable, yet still as elusive as they need to be.
Dead Maids :: James McKweon :: English Dream (2012, Dub Ditch Picnic)
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