Music

Dirt Poor Robins Revel in Cinematic Fatalistic Glory on "Scarecrows" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of the artist

Kentucky's eclectic Dirt Poor Robins follow their ingenious Raven Locks trilogy with a wonderful lyric video for "Scarecrows".

There is no band quite like Dirt Poor Robins. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky and led by married couple Neil and Kate DeGraide, the project certainly conjures comparisons to the polygonal, genre-splicing grandeur of acts like the Family Crest, [The Reign of] Kindo, and the Dear Hunter. That said, their heightened levels of filmic production, steampunk storytelling, and theatrically sundry vocal stylings place their albums (especially the Raven Locks trilogy) in a class all their own.

Recently, the pair released a new EP—Dead Horse, Alaska (Red)—that concurrently presents many of their cherished assets while also showcasing some bold new directions. Leaning more toward the former category, a brand new lyric video for the second song in the set, "Scarecrows", has just arrived, too. With its divinely earnest singing, riveting narration, and stirringly multifaceted instrumentation, it's another rewarding reason for why Dirt Poor Robins is wholly remarkable.

Speaking of the track, collection, and their larger vision for what's to come, Neil DeGraide is cryptic in describing what "Scarecrows" is about. Still, he admits, "it comes at a crucial moment for our main characters. It's a literal existential crisis. They have to decide if they will take a stand against the impending doom facing humanity or to retreat for their own safety and survival". He also reveals that (Red) is the first of three connected EPs. Specifically, he classifies this one as having a "prog/pop focus", whereas the next one, (Gold), will slant more toward a "trippy/classical/cinematic" feeling. As for the last one, (Black), it'll be "more driving, with a harder edge". Once they all come out, they'll be combined into a comprehensive longer statement with altered sequencing and previously unreleased selections.

In terms of how "Scarecrows" ties into Dirt Poor Robin's overarching goal, he gloats, "we always begin with a desire to do something unique and to take the listener to a place they haven't quite been before. With that said, I have to admit that Queen, ELO, the Pretenders, and Pink Floyd were big directional influences on this track. We relish the chance to tip our hat to our biggest influences every now and again."

As usual, Neil handles all of the music here, with Kate countering his sleek and stately gentlemanly timbre with her own classily expressive and velvety tone. In addition, violinist Marina Comfort plays a crucial role in complementing the duo's treasurable array of fatalistic glamour. Their voices blend as exquisitely as ever, countering each other lovingly around unified poeticisms like "But when we fall / We might ascend / And begin again." Around them, soft piano arpeggios, starry effects, and programmed percussion—among other elements—decorate their decrees wonderfully. All in all, it's about as splendid as anything else they've done, which is truly saying something.

Escape with "Scarecrows" above and let us know what you think! Also, make sure you check out all of Dead Horse, Alaska (Red) here.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Music

The Durutti Column's 'Vini Reilly' Is the Post-Punk's Band's Definitive Statement

Mancunian guitarist/texturalist Vini Reilly parlayed the momentum from his famous Morrissey collaboration into an essential, definitive statement for the Durutti Column.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

What Will Come? COVID-19 and the Politics of Economic Depression

The financial crash of 2008-2010 reemphasized that traumatic economic shifts drive political change, so what might we imagine — or fear — will emerge from the COVID-19 depression?

Music

Datura4 Take Us Down the "West Coast Highway Cosmic" (premiere)

Australia's Datura4 deliver a highway anthem for a new generation with "West Coast Highway Cosmic". Take a trip without leaving the couch.

Music

Teddy Thompson Sings About Love on 'Heartbreaker Please'

Teddy Thompson's Heartbreaker Please raises one's spirits by accepting the end as a new beginning. He's re-joining the world and out looking for love.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Little Protests Everywhere

Wherever you are, let's invite our neighbors not to look away from police violence against African Americans and others. Let's encourage them not to forget about George Floyd and so many before him.

Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

Music

Sondre Lerche Rewards 'Patience' with Clever and Sophisticated Indie Pop

Patience joins its predecessors, Please and Pleasure, to form a loose trilogy that stands as the finest work of Sondre Lerche's career.

Film

Ruben Fleischer's 'Venom' Has No Bite

Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.

Books

Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Music

Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.