Dean McPhee

UK guitarist Dean McPhee culls three tracks from a previous Folklore Editions tape and adds in an additional two new cuts for an album of haunting, atmospheric doom-folk that drips with forlorn sadness. Built around a bedrock of quavering drones, the record erects caverns of sound that are flecked with the stone-skip ripples of McPhee’s sparse finger work. The effect brings to mind Loren Connors or Evan Caminiti, though there’s something of a traditional feel to McPhee’s compositions as well, as if old English folk songs were being remembered through a veil of pain and distance.

Though the two sets of songs work well together, there is some marked difference between the sessions. “Danse Macabre” brings in some heartstrung slide, giving McPhee’s work a high plains twilight appeal. This works to the album’s advantage, standing in contrast to the more stoic opening pieces and retaining some of that spectral sigh while giving the track some more room to move. Though it doesn’t have that mellifluous slide, the closing title track also trades in ambiance for some more movement, stretching out over 14+ minutes of foggy, moody tangles of guitar underpinned by the soft pump of a kick pedal that works as the track’s beating heart. All in all, a superb outing from McPhee that stitches together new and old into an album that leaves its fingerprints on the listener before it groans to a close.



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