Quick Review (LP): In the Cool of the Day by Daniel Martin Moore

Daniel Martin Moore
In The Cool Of The Day
Sub Pop; 2011

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: “Closer Walk With Thee”, “In The Cool Of The Day”, “Lay Down Your Lonesome Burdens”

Haunts, Chills, Soothes…

I guess I was expecting a little more irony and a generous smattering of over-the-top, arty poppiness here. I can’t help it, I’ve been conditioned by years of indie listening, where you get your folk with a prefix. This is a plain-faced folk record though, and it certainly stands on its own without the indie or the pop. It’s a completely understated and pastoral record, sincere and earnest with the right twinges of nostalgia and organic instrumentation. Many of the numbers will be recognizable to individuals with any sort of church background, and Moore’s humble delivery casts things in a particularly affective light, as if he’s arranged the songs this quietly in order to discern the still, small voice of God in between the notes. There’s some outstanding individual tracks here, too. The title track, in particular, haunts, and the impressionistic instrumental “Lay Down Your Lonesome Burdens” is as plaintive and lovely as a clear summer’s night. I’ll break it down – there’s something about this record, and so I recommend it to you, dear reader, with enthusiasm.

Cohesion (5/5)
Consistency (5/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Concept (5/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

AMG review
Pitchfork review
PopMatters review

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Tracknotes: “Horses” by Palace

horsesBefore he was Bonnie “Prince” Billy, he was Will Oldham, and before that he was Palace Music, and before that he was Palace Brothers, and before that he was Palace, and before that he was Palace Songs, and really, all of the Palace monikers got shuffled about without making any apparent sense.  Originally released in 1994 as a 7″ single on Drag City.

[Turns out “Horses” was written by Sally Timms & Jon Langford of The Mekons, first released on Sally’s LP Somebody’s Rockin My Dreamboat in 1988. Thanks to reader Tom H. for pointing this out. Mea culpa.]

Old (classic) version:

  • “I’d be riding horses if they let me…”, “Everybody needs an angel/But here’s that devil by my side…” Fantastic lyrics here. It’s a pretty simple little strummer, but the lo-fi recording makes all the difference.
  • This is basically Will Oldham + Slint. The four Spiderland players form his backing band here, and that’s David Pajo shredding the frets late in the song. Interestingly, it appears that this track pre-dates most of the other Palace material, and even Spiderland. The A-side label for the 7” single lists a 1988 copyright for Low Noise Music. Anyone know anything about the producer, Steve Good?
  • Not too sure how I feel about the updated “Nashville session” recording. The original is such a classic, was it really necessary? I’m a sucker for the mandolin and all, but some things should just be left alone.
  • Probably one of the all time great tracks in at least 2 genres: indie & alt-country. I have to say I’m surprised this one doesn’t see more covers.

New (decent) version: