Pennsylvania native Daughn Gibson is an artist who has seemingly appeared fully formed out of nowhere. The most unique thing about his debut album is the way it morphs between different styles, often from quite different realms such as country and soulful electronica, yett it somehow all hangs together wonderfully. As a result Gibson paints himself as a fascinating, chameleon-like musician.
Possessing a deep and defiantly masculine voice, Gibson has the ability to frame it in rather sensitive surrounds. On opening track, Bad Guys, he is the outlaw country crooner, almost Elvis-like in the way he curls his baritone vowels. In The Beginning brings to mind our own Jack Ladder while Tiffany Lou has a distinct English bent, akin to the artful indie guitar pop of Wild Beasts. The unifying factor is of course his voice and he isn’t afraid to experiment with it via the stuttering effects on Tiffany Lou or lay it open and bare like Johnny Cash on the late-night jazz intoxication of A Young Girl’s World. There isn’t a weak track across the 30-minute album and squeezing such a wide range of songs onto it is a major achievement. Lookin’ Back On ’99 sounds like a lost Depeche Mode gem with its wobbly trip hop bass, while Gibson introduces more experimental touches with static interjections on Dandelions and the screaming-in-your-face dynamics that kick off the closing title track. It sounds like Jim Morrison duetting with a goth band circa 1984.
As far as debut albums go this is up there with the best and though distinctly different it feels like an introduction to a impressive new talent, in much the same way Bon Iver appeared with his debut.
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