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Duquette Johnston

Rabbit Runs a Destiny

(Communicating Vessels; US: 21 May 2013; UK: available as import)

Rabbit Runs a Destiny finds Birmingham, Alabama’s Johnston shaking off the straightforward singer-songwriter style that marked earlier releases, this time going for a grimier, more impressionistic sound.  Kicking off with the moody percussion and eerie harmonies of “Heart Is Breaking”, Rabbit establishes itself as Johnston’s most adventurous record yet.  Nearly every song seems to go through a hazy, dreamy veil where vocals float, guitar feedback gently swirls, and half-heard sounds.  Midway through the album, “We Were Young” bursts forth with angry clarity as Johnston sings “I’ve seen through the smoke / I’ve seen through the fires / all the things that you breathe / the things that you lie / open your lips and tell me the truth.” Throughout Rabbit, the former Verbena member ranges from pastoral Pink Floyd melodies to flirtations with Beatles-style psychedelia to songs that stay just on this side of the rock fence. Rabbit Runs a Destiny finds Johnston rummaging through a toolbox of new sounds and production, and he does rather surprising things with what he finds.


Andrew Gilstrap is a freelance writer living in South Carolina, where he's able to endure the few weeks each year that it's actually freezing (swearing a vow that if he ever moves, it'll be even farther south). Aging into a fine curmudgeon whose idea of heaven is 40 tree-covered acres away from the world, he increasingly wishes he were part of a pair of twins, just so he could try being the kinda evil one on for size. Musically, he's always scouring records for that one moment that makes him feel like he's never heard music before, but he long ago realized he needs to keep his copies of John Prine, Crowded House, the Replacements, Kate Bush, and Tom Waits within easy reach.

Waverly Sessions: Duquette Johnston - We Were Young
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