Matteah Baim - Laughing Boy
Bloody heck, how did I miss this? A brilliant LP, full of menacing atmospherics, understated grooves and gnomic whisperings; and very much a piece of work that rumbles along at its own speed, and in its own world. There’s a feeling of affinity with Larkin Grimm’s work, but none of that lady’s restless troubadour-isms. Apparently Baim called in a number of collaborators to work on the album, and as such some tracks have the feeling of being born, or moulded into shape via the odd jam session. Nothing wrong with any of that of course; the blues-y groove on He Turned My Mind Around that wouldn’t be out of place on a Traffic LP, say. There is a woozy psychedelic vibe running through the LP that does bring Pentangle to mind at times, especially on the brilliant Monkey Chant or Temple Dogs.
And boy is this LP a fine example of American Gothic. The deceptively gentle set of songs (check out Birthdays) somehow make the listener feel a wee bit uncomfortable, Laughing Boy might contain charming drawings of Mozart chatting to his dog, (no, I shan’t explain further, see the sleeve notes for further elucidation), but the music exudes a powerful, heady country-Gothic vibe. Everything is slightly weird, and understated in its malice; Big Cat boasts the most chilling whistling committed to record…
Words: Richard Foster