Withered Hand – New Gods

New GodsEdinburgh-based indie rock musician Dan Willson releases his second album entitled New Gods, under pseudonym Withered Hand this March 2014 through Fortuna POP! (UK) and Slumberland Records (USA/Canada).

Willson established his musical journey at a late age of thirty, exploring his talent during a period of loss and gain that saw the death of a close friend and the birth of his first child. These experiences have aided him to craft the brutal honesty portrayed in his material. The announcement of New Gods comes five years after the release of critically-acclaimed debut album, Good News, which found the visual artist expressing themes of faith, religion and lust, with a humble and fractured voice, reminiscent of Keaton Henson, complimented by simple folk and indie-rock structures, and carefully formed by layers of plucking banjos and acoustic guitars.

This long-awaited second album really displays the length Willson has traveled in terms of musical ability. Since initially venturing onto the music scene, his immense dedication is reflected through each and every one of the beautifully constructed and recorded songs on the album. New Gods also features a variety of guest appearances, from Pam Berry to members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit, adding more enticing flavours to a heavenly and thought-provoking experience.

The opening track "Horseshoe" devices an image of intense emotion, referring to a nervous love, fear of loss and the questioning of death: "Tell me was it easy to pretend like nobody is dead, that nobody you love would ever die?" A song with the capability to awaken parts of the brain that were previously inactive, its thoughtful lyrics are accompanied by an upbeat melody, making it a perfectly arranged introduction and providing a quality that lasts throughout the whole album. This quality is injected straight into the veins of next track, "Black Tambourine", which takes us into a disparate dimension, with riffs soaring in the background that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Beach Boys album. The timeless style throws us into the feeling of summer nostalgia, a theme also explored on "Between True Love and Ruin".

New Gods is beautifully and shrewdly constructed to perfectly show-case Willson’s ability to provoke a variety of emotions in a range of musical platforms. Every song is a gift that is guaranteed to leave you fulfilled.

Release: 10th March 2014, Fortuna POP!


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