2013 : Pesanta Urfolk
Format : LP/CD
For many years Lux Interna were one of those bands always on the edge of my peripheral vision. I was aware of them, but for whatever reason never seemed to take the time to give them a solid listen. Then a few years back I happened to hear a track on an internet radio show from their 2007 release “God Is Not Dead For The Birds” I was impressed with enough to pick up the release. The band seemed to have develop more of their own sound on that recording, moving away from Euro Neofolk, embracing their Americana roots and twisting it into something dark and haunting. “There Is Light In The Body…” completely cements that sound and for me. This is one of the greatest Dark Folk records of all time.
Right from the opening strains of “King Winter” this album had me by the collar. Think along the lines of 16 Horsepower, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Jay Munly, banjos ringing down a lonesome Appalachian holler and old tyme religion. Multi-instrumentalist and song smith Joshua Levi Ian’s laid back baritone glides like honey infused moonshine while accompanied by the breathy exaltation of his partner Kathryn Mary, flawless precussion arrangements from Jeff Linsenmaier (Wovenhand/Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots) and the portentous strings of Kris Force (Amber Asylum).
The album alternates just enough to balance the gloom with more..I hesitate to use upbeat, but maybe some light shining through the trees to illuminate the path before us. Being a morose bastard myself, I definitely lean towards the ominousness of tracks like “Nida”, “Spiritloom” and the lowdown swamp doom of “Tabor”. that being said, I still absolutely love the hillbilly chug of “Tongues” and “Wounded Stag”. And hell, “Threefold” and “Seed” groove so hard they’re practically danceable, at least you might catch me cutting a rug, if you’re quick enough and the blinds are open.
Now I could ramble on for another paragraph or six about this record, cracking open a thesaurus and trying to think of more witty remarks to amuse us both, but I’d get annoyed at myself and you’d get bored. The bottom line, this is a classic American record. It’s hands-down the record of the year for me and earned a slot in my top 20 of all time. This is one of those desert island records I’ll be dragging out for years to come. It’s still readily available directly from the band, or from the label, whom I can’t say enough good things about and whose proprietor just happens to be part of the touring band, Pesanta Urfolk.
You can grab a copy on CD or digital download, but all of the cool kids are going to buy the double LP vinyl version…and if there’s one record you need to pick up this year as an actual record, this is it. Side D is beautifully etched and the cover features the absolutely amazing artwork of David V. D’Andrea. This one is not to be missed, just take a look and a listen below.