Dark Developments

Dark Developments

by Vic ChesnuttVic Chesnutt

CD

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Overview

Athens, GA isn't that big a town, so it's not surprising that Vic Chesnutt would cross paths with fellow hometowners Elf Power, or that he might invite them over to his house to make some music. What is surprising is how well their styles mesh on Dark Developments, a collaborative album recorded at Chesnutt's home studio. Like Chesnutt's excellent The Salesman and Bernadette (which he recorded with Lambchop as his backing band), Dark Developments is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, as the frontman manages to bring out something new and richly satisfying in his musicians, and vice-versa. Elf Power's bright semi-psychedelic pop instincts brighten the corners of Chesnutt's sometimes dour melodies, and Chesnutt's playfully expansive, literate songs encourage the band to add some deeper sonic colors that wouldn't normally make their way into their work. Dark Developments also finds Chesnutt near the top of his form as a singer, with his lyrics getting an emotive and well-considered reading that's dramatic but never histrionic, and these songs boast a melodic concision that's a genuine change of pace after the grand-scale structures of Ghetto Bells and North Star Deserter. Dark Developments is a more approachable album than Chesnutt has made in a while, but he's hardly dumbed himself down; this music is as proudly eccentric as ever, and songs like "Little Fucker," "We Are Mean," and "Bilocating Dog" are sterling examples of Chesnutt's singular lyrical perspective, but the members of Elf Power lend an undertow of aural curiosity that's welcoming rather than off-putting, and the result is a small triumph of artfully applied Southern quirkiness. Fans of Chesnutt, Elf Power, or smart and adventurous pop music in general should put this one on their shopping lists.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2008
Label: Orange Twin
UPC: 0656605663128
catalogNumber: 31
Rank: 59815

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vic Chesnutt   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Trombone,Keyboards,Vocals,Omnichord,Mouth Trumpet
Sam Harris   Bells
Jimmy Hughes   Guitar,Vocals
Eric Harris   Bells
Curtiss Pernice   Guitar,Vocals
Laura Carter   Clarinet,Accordion,Keyboards,Vocals
Andrew Rieger   Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Sam Mixon   Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards,Tambourine,Vocals
Derek Almstead   Bass Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals
Josh Lott   Drums,Vocals
Curtiss Pernice   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Vic Chesnutt   Composer,Engineer
Laura Carter   Cover Design
Derek Almstead   Engineer
Terry Rowlett   Cover Painting

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