This solidly good five song EP is all about balance. Light vocals, clever lyrics and amusing asides stabilize the emotional whiplash of many of the songs. Simple, clear arrangements suggest innocent poise amid painful experience. David Ivar Herman Dune partially removes his tongue from his cheek to deliver an earnest croon that gains equilibrium from backing by The Woo-Woos (Lisa Li-Lund & The New York Babyskins). The combination of laser wit and childlike romanticism can be both alluring and irritating, but it’s mainly just fun. Thankfully, on “Take Him Back To New York City” we hear “It’s a fucking pity” rhymed with “shitty”, “graffiti” and “It’s not where they shot E.T.”. Herman Dune lands on a sweet spot midway between Sesame Street and The Velvet Underground.
“When The Water Gets Cold (And Freezes on the Lake)” brilliantly gauges emotional temperatures. Heavy as mercury yet light as air, it’s the most spacious piece here yet also the tightest: a devastatingly adroit analysis of feelings associated with betrayal and something of a hallucinatory exposition on forgiveness. Herman Dune uses the profound narrative power of repetition (one tradition in folk music of Northern Europe and US rural blues) and sets this echo in a deft quasi-doo-wop style to speak directly to heart and mind in a way that fans of Magnetic Fields or Jonathan Richman will appreciate. Four of the songs on I Wish That I Could See You Soon were released in Europe last year and further refine their early style (much loved by John Peel).
// Notes from the Road
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