Thursday, 23 October 2008

Herman Dune - Next year in Zion (City Slang 2008)

Herman Dune comprises two brothers, one called Herman and one called Nathan. Obviously Nathan's just the drummer so he doesn't get to be the band name. Swedish-born, Paris-raised duo, lovelies to the New York antifolk scene and friends of the always great Kimya Dawson, they deliver a dozen charming pop songs that on the surface seem simple and twee but actually are more layered than one realises.

There's a beauty and honesty to a vocalist singing love songs in English, not his mother tongue. He's more earnest and sweet than the always vague Chris Martin who only alludes to the feelings tear his soul apart. Mostly acoustic, dripping in country and Americana and containing repeated urgent refrains like 'My Home is Nowhere without You', 'Next Year in Zion' is a charming album of ditties and paeans and odes, bending the English language to whatever whimsy Herman is blown away on. There's a warmness in the honesty, an exuberance and zest for life in the acoustic strums and plaintive singing. Self-produced with warts and all, never sounding over-produced and placing deep roots in the DIY scene that celebrates them, Herman Dune have a mountain to climb, convincing the world that they are more earnest, more fun, more life affirming and more moving than any of those sombre indie bands that soundtrack adverts and rejection moments in X Factor. Herman Dune are the sound of DIY acoustic folk music sung by lovestricken troubadours wanting simply to find their way home.

Official site

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