Published Apr 11, 2019Opting to maintain a bit of mystique in the age of overshare, MALK delivers his eccentric brand of freak folk with a refreshing lack of need to contextualize it with his personal story. MALK's music has plenty of personality to convey on its own, and finding musical kin to point to is no easy feat (early Animal Collective, as lead by a mute Neil Young with ADHD?).
The album's rough, ramshackle recording style will likely put off some listeners, but if that's not a barricade to your enjoyment, there's a glut of quirky, modern rustic charm kicking around in the lo-fi haze. Mutant folk and blues licks anchor exploratory guitar motifs and chaotic experiments in sound design/sample janking provide strange beats and add delightfully bizarre textural layers to the arrangements.
There's an unfinished feel to much of the album that doesn't diminish its appeal but may narrow its potential audience. Many of the brief tracks ("Return," "Release"), however, suggest that MALK is entirely capable of some grand musical statements if time, funding, intent and desire converge favourably. Check it out if you need something utterly unique in your listening life. (Lost Tribe Sound)