David and the Woods Forever Sleeping

Three years on since Les Archipels de L’Océanie, a little homemade surprise that fell into my hands, and David (Dugas Dion) is still climbing the four-track trees and dropping down ripe CD-Rs. Forever Sleeping keeps his existing indie flames (Eric’s Trip, Sonic Youth) glowing but now only as a background flicker to his own brighter light. Openers "Nomad” and "Lévitation” may be borrowed from the Rick White playbook but "Flowing Out,” with its sweet vocal harmony and gradually building guitar layers, sounds like a Posies song hijacked by timber wolves. The variety of stringed instruments (banjo, lap steel and sitar) allow subtle but potent shifts in mood. Tracks like "Tired” and "Marry You” flirt with "wood, wires” territory then "Forever Home” fills up on the "whiskey.” Fans of David’s tendency for space travel won’t be disappointed either, as the mid-album title track and nearly 20-minute closer "Death” propel them into a very loud void that is increasingly filled with low-end guitar distortion. In fact, pretty much anything a heartsick indie veteran might want is here. For us, Forever Sleeping is the kind of love letter we keep hoping for. (Chuchabata)