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Amen Dunes — Freedom (March 30, 2018)

Amen Dunes — Freedom (March 30, 2018)

            Amen Dunes — Freedom (March 30, 2018)     Amen Dunes — Freedom (March 30, 2018)Ω••Ω     Atmospheric psychedelia and indie folk from this project by Damon McMahon. With every record, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed, and Freedom is the project’s boldest leap yet. Enlisting a powerful set of collaborators that included Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, keyboardist Jordi Wheeler, Chris Coady (Beach House) as producer, and Delicate Steve on guitars, Freedom was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC and at Sunset Sound in L.A. All told it took three years to make.
Ω••Ω     On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colorful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.Fotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.
Location: New York
Styles: Indie Folk, Alternative Singer~Songwriter, Neo~Psychedelia, Alternative/Indie Rock
Recording Location: Electric Lady Studios, NYC; Future Past; Sunset sound; Sunset Sound, Los Angeles; Trout Recording
Album release: March 30, 2018
Record Label: Sacred Bones
Duration:     47:13
Tracks:
01. Intro     0:50
02. Blue Rose     4:06
03. Time     4:51
04. Skipping School n    5:28
05. Calling Paul The Suffering     3:02
06. Miki Dora     5:04
07. Saturdarah     2:44
08. Believe     5:47
09. Dracula     4:17
10. Freedom     5:00
11. L.A.     6:04
Members:
Ω••Ω     Damon McMahon
Ω••Ω     Jordi Wheeler
Ω••Ω     Parker Kindred
Credits:
••    Amen Dunes Vocals
••    Greg Calbi Mastering
••    Chris Coady Engineer, Producer
••    Xander Duell Harmonica, Keyboards
••    Steve Fallone Mastering
••    Autry Fulbright II Guitar (Bass)
••    Bryce Goggin Engineer
••    Parker Kindred Drums, Guitar, Percussion
••    Tuomas Korpijaakko Art Direction, Photography
••    Benji Lysaght Guitar (Rhythm)
••    Steve Marion Bell Guitars, Chimes, Dancer, Guitar, Guitar (Ac+El), Soloist
••    Raffaele Martirani Audio Manipulation, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Sampling
••    Damon McMahon Composer, Guitar (Rhythm), Keyboards, Piano, Soloist, Vocals
••    Max Prior Mixing
••    Adam Sachs Engineer
••    Daniel Schlett Engineer
••    Gus Seyffert Guitar, Guitar (Bass)
••    Craig Silvey Mixing
••    Sarah Tudzin Engineer
••    Jordi Wheeler Guitar, Keyboard Bass, Keyboards, Piano
••    Nick Zinner Guitar
Review
By Ben Homewood, Mar 29, 2018 4:16 pm / Score: *****
Ω••Ω     The enigmatic Brooklyn songwriter finally opens up on a grand, pop~rock masterpiece
Ω••Ω     As a teenager, Damon McMahon used to catch the train from his countryside Connecticut neighbourhood, rolling up to New York to listen to Aphex Twin and do drugs with his uptown friends.
Ω••Ω     Life at home was often tough, and when McMahon went against his father’s wishes and began to pursue a career in music, he smothered anything autobiographical in low fidelity hiss and abstract artwork. After 2009 debut ‘Dia’, ‘Through Donkey Jaw’ (2011) and ‘Spoiler’ (2013), the resplendent, folkier ‘Love’, from 2014, lifted the veil slightly. Now, on ‘Freedom’, it evaporates completely.
Ω••Ω     McMahon’s face appears, eyes down, in high definition on the sleeve, and its 11 tracks are just as up~close and personal. But it’s the scale of ‘Freedom’’s sound that cements it as an instantaneous classic; far and away McMahon’s most complete work to date. His reedy, beaten~down vocal is so magnificent you wonder where he’s been hiding it all these years, while every track thrums with its own deep groove.  •Ω•       http://www.nme.com/
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares;  Score:      ****
•Ω•      Amen Dunes’ Damon McMahon begins Freedom with a pair of illuminating quotes. “This is your time!,” a child shouts, then McMahon’s mother — who was diagnosed with terminal cancer when he began making the album — reads a quote from painter Agnes Martin: “I don’t have any ideas myself. I am a vacant mind.” This feeling of change and openness resonates throughout Freedom, a set of songs that are as simple and complex as their title. Fittingly, McMahon sounds liberated from any expectations of Amen Dunes should sound like, and worked with a small army of collaborators to deliver his widest~ranging music yet. Along with Parker Kindred and Delicate Steve, Freedom features Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who sound as spacious yet restrained as they did on Amen Dunes’ previous album Love; atmospheric electronic artist Panoram; and producer Chris Coady, who gives the album just enough sheen to blend its strains of folk, rock and electronic music into a cohesive whole. As McMahon brings the beat to the fore, it doesn’t weigh down his music — if anything, it affords him more ways to express himself. Transcendent, transporting rhythms make it clear what he means when he sings “we play religious music” on “Blue Rose,” and lend an insistent momentum to “L.A.” that reinforces there’s no going back. While Freedom frequently sounds effortless — particularly on its luminous title track — it’s never simple. McMahon skillfully contrasts the album’s smooth sounds and the conflicts within its lyrics, which explore death, disillusionment and, especially, toxic masculinity. He conveys just how attractive and destructive these notions of manhood can be on “Miki Dora,” using the surfing icon as an emblem of ebbing cool from a bygone era as he sings “the waves are gone” over slinky guitars and a coasting beat. Similarly, “Dracula”’s macho narrative is as satisfying as a short story, even as its monstrous nature is hinted at in the title. McMahon delves into the subject more personally on songs like “Calling Paul the Suffering” and “Skipping School,” a darkly affectionate song that casts his dad as a glue~sniffing kid and allows McMahon to connect to him as a person, rather than his expectations of what a father should be. Here and on “Believe,” the way out of the cycle seems to be knowing which beliefs to let go of and which to embrace. It all makes Freedom McMahon’s richest album yet, as well as his most accessible — as the sound and scope of his music grows, so does its humanity. •Ω•       https://www.allmusic.com/
Label: https://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/
Bandcamp: https://amendunes.bandcamp.com/album/freedom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amendunes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amendunes/
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Amen Dunes — Freedom (March 30, 2018)

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