ALBUM REVIEW: Herman Dune – Notes from Vinegar Hill | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Santa Cruz Records

Released: 06.11.20






Herman Dune’s 14th album was recorded in David Ivar’s home-studio in San Pedro, Los Angeles. It is the musical equivalent of watching slides on a projector. The pictures tremble and jump in a quaintly unsettling way. There are unaccountable gaps, eerie superimpositions and abrupt transitions.

David Ivar mostly sings in a surprisingly low, crooning voice: phantoms are conjured up and we hear, in turn, Dylan circa Nashville Skyline, Gram Parsons, Lee Hazlewood, David Berman and even Marc Bolan. The album is grainy with sun but even the Californian light seems borrowed – it shines in a mocking, derivative way. And yet not everything here is decorative: songs such as Scorpio Rising remind us that a clear, simple heart continues to beat, somewhere beneath yesterday’s dust.



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