King Creosote & Michael Johnston: The Bound of the Red Deer

boundKing Creosote & Michael Johnston
The Bound of the Red Deer
(Independent Release)

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The collaboration between Scotland’s King Creosote (Kenny Anderson) and Canada’s Michael Johnston is billed as “a decade-long trans-Atlantic bromance.” The two artists have forged prolific careers, but they’ve finally recorded a subdued, beautiful album together. A majority of the songs on The Bound of the Red Deer are driven by piano or acoustic guitar, but this sparseness allowed Anderson and Johnston’s voices to serve as instruments themselves, particularly with their contrasting accents. Part of The Bound of the Red Deer‘s beauty is how it captures the complexity of emotion. The poignant resignation of “When I Was a Thief” and Anderson’s statement “she won’t remember me” contrasts wonderfully with “Round and Round,” where Johnston declares, “We can hate the past, but we can love tonight.” The piano ditty “Supermoon” contains several sweet declarations, while the upbeat, folky “All of This in Writing” jovially catalogs rude, selfish behaviors. There doesn’t seem to be an overarching theme or character to the album, but with a collaboration like this, there really doesn’t need to be. Anderson and Johnston have managed to create nine beautiful songs together (with one hilarious, emphatically Scottish track tagged on at the end). Fans of folk or the men’s other projects should seek this one out.
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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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