Deep Dark Woods - The Place I Left Behind
The Place I Left Behind is the latest record from Saskatoon’s The Deep Dark Woods, and their first since signing to Six Shooter Records. Regarded for more than living up to their name when it comes to the tone of their music, their dark alt-country continues to develop into a sound that could lead the band into higher regard than they already have in Canada’s music scene.
Compared to their previous record, The Winter Hours, this album is a step forward. Where the latter had a very solid start, but trailed off somewhat towards the last few tracks, The Place I Left Behind is fantastic from start to finish. The title track and ‘Mary’s Gone’ are early favourites, featuring more interesting musical compositions and jams a bit more akin to their live performances than their previous studio work. Later on ‘The Banks of the Leopold Canal’ and the lengthy ‘The Ballad of Frank Dupree’ stand out as well amongst the albums more down tempo tracks.
And while the majority of the music on this record is slower paced, they do manage to slide in a couple energetic numbers. ‘Dear John’ is of also of particular interest as it features lead vocals from Chris Mason, rather than regular Ryan Boldt. Mason’s penchant for brilliant harmonies makes it no surprise that he holds his own well in the head chair.
On this record, the band’s fundamentals are essentially unchanged – darker themes, fantastic vocal harmonies and hypnotizing music. They succeed in honing their art rather than fundamentally changing it.
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