Knife in the Water Red River (Overcoat)

Red River (Overcoat)

Knife in the Water

Red River (Overcoat)

Austin quintet Knife in the Water caught a good many ears with their debut, Plays One Sound and Others, and have proven themselves worthy of the attention and accolades they've piled up touring since that album's release with a strong second effort, Red River. Their music has the world-weary and wise feel of slo-rock principals like Acetone, Lullaby for the Working Class, or even early Luna, but Knife in the Water traipse through this familiar terrain with the ghost of Gram Parsons close at hand. Aaron Blount's voice doesn't hide or blend into the wallpaper; rather, it steps up front, a half-croon/half-moan that's aching, pretty, and soporific. When waltzed across the ambient textures of his own patient guitar and the interplay of droney keyboards and steel guitar, the listener is left stranded, isolated, wandering the Texas plains in a narcotic haze. Here and there on Red River, Blount's songs step up the pace a bit, like the deadly "Rene" and the almost foot-stomping "Young Blood in the River." But for the most part, including an eerie turn through the Lee Hazlewood nugget "Sundown, Sundown," it's the slow steps and sleepy tones that make Knife in the Water's music creepy and gorgeous, a disquieting blend that begs to be heard again and again.

***.5

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