Complex and incongruent, the songs of Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm linger like a West Texas wind, proving us all saints.
Veering in directions familiar and foreign, Will Johnson trades the personal narratives of 2015's Swan City Vampires for an empathetic posture on his latest solo outing, Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm. A collection of literary tales populated by hapless sinners, Johnson recuses his narrators from judgment of such anti-heroes as the title stripper of "Ruby Shameless" and Mazie Mae, the derided savior of "Heresy and Snakes", yet offers license to chastise the gentlemen callers of "Filled with a Falcon's Dreams".
The naturalistic songs of Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm are painted in oft-discordant sonic textures by Britton Beisenherz, Ricky Ray Jackson, and longtime musical cohort Matt Pence. While the guitar-driven "Every Single Day of Late" and acoustic strum of "Milaak" recall Johnson's former band, Centro-matic, album centerpieces "Heresy and Snakes" and the dusty rhythms of "Hey-o Hi-o" echo the freeform exploration of South San Gabriel, the musical yang to Johnson's prior rocking yin.
Since disbanding Centro-matic in 2014, Johnson has proven comfortable with moving his own marker; continuing to deliver erudite truths we fail to acknowledge, such as, "Every day's an act / Until you change the lines." Complex and incongruent, the songs of Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm linger like a West Texas wind, proving us all saints.