PCH meander

Dan Ballard made his bones with Until June, which has enjoyed a fair bit of European success. So when it came to do a solo record, he decided to not use his name. Well, okay. I have a feeling this album will lead many people to speak his name anyway.

My Dead Air
The Thief Who Knows My Name
I must have listened to half of this album straight through before the fact of songs changing registered. The meditative sound and easy groove is hypnotic. The easiest comparison is Glen Campbell, though Ballard is slightly less country than the mellow Californian. Rather, this is easy-rolling soft-handed folk-rock that never gets aggressive. Sounds like a recipe for dreck, but in Ballard's hands this is lovely, engaging stuff.

The comparisons to modern practitioners like Bon Iver and the like are completely valid, both in style and quality. Ballard has crafted an atmospheric album that soars well above the MOR roots of his sound. These songs may be easy to like, but they have some real depth.

Very few albums have insinuated themselves into my brain as quickly and easily as this one. Regular readers will know that I don't recommend things from the more contemplative side of life very often. I'm an action and discordance kinda guy. This album absolutely slays with feathers. It's not for the kids, and that's all for the best. My amazement has no bounds.

Jon Worley

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