Golden Age brings all Moore's previous, disparate sounds together, but in the mixing creates yet another new direction.
Since famously getting a deal with Sub Pop on the strength of an unsolicited demo, Daniel Martin Moore has been stretching out. After the straight-on acoustic folk of his 2008 debut, Stray Age, he began experimenting to great effect. The reimagined gospel of In the Cool of the Day and collaborations with Ben Sollee and Joan Shelley showed the range of his talents added new textures to his sound. Golden Age seems to bring all his previous sounds together, but in the mixing creates yet another new direction. The aching piano-driven title track is a hypnotizing open to the record, but it doesn't exactly set the table. We move into the torch-singer blues of "Our Hearts Will Hover" and then the wordless, threadbare lullaby of "Lily Mozelle", before shifting to the folk shamble of "On Our Way Home" -- where Joan Shelley adds her voice -- and finally into the haunting shadows of "To Make It True". This run in the middle of the record is its best, each song with its own tone and layering and yet they meld together well. The record was produced by Jim James, so there's no shortage of reverb on the record, but the effect actually expands and clarifies Moore's beautiful voice rather than crowding it. The production can feel a bit too controlled -- the slow build of "Anyway" feels too planned to surprise, while "In Common Time" is bogged down by unnecessary pomp in its second half -- but mostly you get the feel of mutual admiration leading to fruitful collaboration (yet again) on this record. Golden Age is another good shift for Moore, and another sign that as his talent continues to solidify, he's hardly settling in.