Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

For all the added atmospherics, the album never feels overcrowded.

Label: Sub Pop

Rating: 8

Last year, Daughn Gibson and his brooding baritone struck the music industry with a new kind of niche that sounded like he’d dusted off old country records and heavily sampled them. Having secured critical acclaim for his debut album ‘All Hell’, it seems he’s firmly left his trucking past behind for good, as follow-up ‘Me Moan’ sees Gibson switching his genre-spanning samples up a gear, with a much more detailed and darker sound.
Lead track and album opener ‘The Sound Of Law’ is a frantic three-minute mix of bold, tumbling percussion driven by his husky drawl, which seems to lead the theme for ‘Me Moan’: a bigger sound and richer arrangements but still with that crackly quality that made ‘All Hell’ so immersive. See also the glide of soft piano notes into a looped beat and eerily atmospheric effects on ‘Phantom Rider’, or the stomp and subtle funk combination of ‘Kissin’ On The Blacktop’.
What strikes with this album yet again though, is Gibson’s storytelling ability. These songs are intricate stories told well. And when told with his commanding vocals, one feels inclined to listen. “I wish we had a kid who never wanted to die,” he confesses on the more traditional ‘Franco’. While ‘Into The Sea’ opens with the line “I live my life on the other side of love, feeling like I can’t unwind the memory of myself.’ It’s all a bit mournful at times, when you can understand his characteristic drawl.
‘Me Moan’ is not all so dark though. Rather, the intense detail and orchestration allow for a less bleak feel than ‘All Hell’. There’s the marching-style drums and bagpipes that give as an uplifting feel as possible for Gibson on ‘Mad Ocean’, or the more trance-y, electronica-driven ‘You Don’t Fade’, where the only trace of country is in his deep drawl. And it’s that drawl that still seems to tie his songs together. Because for all the added atmospherics, the album never feels overcrowded - Daughn Gibson’s haunting baritone always shines through.