His Name is Alive

Detrola (Silver Mountain)

SXSW Records

His Name is Alive

Detrola (Silver Mountain)

Warn Defever's first album since leaving 4AD four years ago is titled after his hometown, Detroit, and like that chilly, increasingly depopulated metropolis, Detrola sparkles with wintery beauty, a midnight revelry for those more inclined toward hearth and home. Less a departure for HNA than an aural act of ouroborosian circuit closure, Detrola carries the urgent, untethered ring of millennial anxiety burbling throughout, from the fiddle-flecked solemnity of opener "Introduction" (featuring Andrea FM's stately, processional vox) to the bluesy, brassy sax and trumpet yowlings of "Thought I Saw You Movin'," which, intentional or not, recalls no one so much as mid-Seventies Doobie Brothers. It's righteous stuff Defever's grown here, a thicket of Beatles-esque melodies mired in a rich, loamy bog of Billy Joel keyboards with the lyrical agility of (dare we say it?) Jim Croce. How the former 4ADsters made it onto this particular and particularly juicy stretch of highway is anyone's guess; ask Prince as the jaunty electro of "Seven Minutes" is right up there with "D.M.S.R." in terms of sheer sex-pop fun. Newcomers may well be bewildered by Defever's musical strip-mining, but longtime HNA fans will find a diamond here, precut and glittering like a new fall of snow atop the oldest of cemetery plots. (Thursday, March 16, 12mid @ Habana Calle 6)


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