HEAR THIS: Withered Hand
If you haven’t heard of Scottish folk-rock crooner Dan Willson, aka Withered Hand, prepare to be wooed. It’s been five years since the release of his first album, but his latest, New Gods (Fortuna POP! /Slumberland), has been well worth the wait. Produced by Tony Doogan (Belle and Sebastian), New Gods is laden with dark witticisms, catchy-as-hell hooks, and unexpected metaphors. Each track has a very human quality about it, reflecting all of the intimate fears and desires we experience at one time or another.
The achingly somber “California” embodies a sense of disillusionment, while the sprightly “Black Tambourine” is a glittering The Shins-esque number, featuring stellar harmonies from indie-pop legend, Pam Berry (Black Tambourine). Other appearances on the album feature members from Belle and Sebastian, Frightened Rabbit, and King Creosote.