Alexander Tucker Furrowed Brow

Last year’s Old Fog introduced Alexander Tucker as a folk artist with slightly bent ears for John Fahey experiments and British traditions, but this year’s effort floats in even stranger waters. The bluesy acoustic guitar is still the basis, opening the album accompanied by ghostly mandolin, but as Tucker’s vocals begin to split and multiply we understand what "You Are Many” actually entails. Importing strategies of layered loops and distortion from live solo experiments, the density and portent of the album becomes darker. "Superherder” is dusted with the residue from recent collaborations with Sunn O))) doom doyen Stephen O’Malley. The ceremonial aspects of Current 93 are also echoed here, stripped of excess drama and dogma. A strong central energy ensures that seemingly polar tracks like the bowed strings and stacked chants of "Broken Dome” and the simpler elegance of "Saddest Summer” sound like one voice, one vision. In essence Tucker touches the dark night of the soul as the deepest folk blues has always done. (ATP)