Vandaveer follows up its smashing and poignant 2007 debut, Grace and Speed, with the superb Divide and Conquer. Mark Charles Heidinger, a wandering folk singer/songwriter from DC by-way-of Kentucky, takes his name from the family name engraved on an heirloom, a watch from his father. He pairs one extreme to another, contrasting wildly vivid and passionate phrases against light and delicate nuances, while incorporating themes of love and death, good and evil, etc. Heidinger’s sister, Rose Guerin, adds to the mix and provides beautiful and haunting vocal harmonies. Nothing can really substitute the strength and closeness of sibling vocal harmonies, while timbres are echoed and untraceable similarities bind the two voices. Heidinger also enlists a couple buddies from his band These United States (he plays bass).
The standout “Fistful of Swoon” makes use of unexpected harmony intervals and pays attention to dynamics for a dirge-like telling of a king leading his village to destruction. The tones reach into some rarely touched receptors. Dark and horrid lyrical images help to further the mood. “The shriek of sirens singing out of tune / A dozen black roses in hideous bloom,” whisper Heidinger and Guerin. Two tracks later, “A Mighty Leviathan of Old” rouses the listener with what feels like an uplifting, well-arranged, and precisely harmonized drinking song.
- Multiple songs MySpace
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article