Dead Luke's American Haircut was one of our favorites from last year and in quick order he's followed it up with the equally engaging Meanwhile... In the Midwest. Where Haircut was a densely layered psychedelic creep, the follow-up peers its head above the haze. For the first time since we've had Luke on our radar, his voice is clear and free from the murk of heavy processing. The album is full of early morning space-blues and rising sun jams with the man himself prosthelytizing out front like he means it. Being from Madison, WI, Luke was around for the political turmoil that unfolded recently and the album's lyrics reflect the struggle and unrest of the Midwest climate. Though not necessarily the route we saw him taking, the Woody Guthrie under the Brightblack Morning Light sound he's dug into is definitely working. Let there be no confusion though, this is still very much an album wandering through the psychedelic creek. His voice may be crisper but musically the album is run through a quivering heat haze of open space grooves, heavy handed strums and electronic ambience that floats like smoke rings. Definitely an essential one!
[MP3] Dead Luke - Paranoia Is a Flower of the Mind
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