On their new full-length release, Cartoon Moon, the Milwaukee-based band Dead Horses offer listeners their fresh, insightful take on folk music along with lyrical parallels to American writers like Whitman and Steinbeck. Released September 30, 2016, this, their third collection of songs, features ruminations on loneliness, existence, love, and meaning.
Produced by Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco), Cartoon Moon sounds comfortable yet remains modern. Vocalist and songwriter Sarah Vos’ trademark take on timeless American prose mixes with the sweet sounds of Daniel Wolff’s vocal harmonies and double bass, and Coomer’s drums (as well as mandolin, guitar, organ, banjo, and harmonium), to create a cozy, enveloping experience – the album feels like a good night spent on a favorite front porch.
While the first single draws lyrical comparisons to Whitman, Vos’ vocals on tracks like “Brothers” and “Ain’t Got Time,” recall Delta soul that might sound fitting sung on one of Twain’s river voyages. Raboin’s mandolin shines on “In the Morning,” leading into “Peace My Soul,” which could be straight from the mouths of one of Steinbeck’s migrants during the Dust Bowl.
The band has traversed much of America after the release of their sophomore album Space and Time in 2014. They’ve made their way through ballrooms and festivals across the country, performing with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, Elephant Revival, as well as on main stages at Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Americana Music Festival, WinterWonderGrass, and Red Ants Pants. At one such fateful festival, Dead Horses piqued the interest of Coomer, who later invited the band to his studio to record their latest album.
The band, who now tours with some pretty heavy pickers and players in tow, originally hails from a small Wisconsin town made famous by a pair of overalls (OshKosh B’Gosh). Since their formation in 2010, Dead Horses have cultivated a roots sensibility well beyond their years, in part because of powerful musical and literary force that is their frontwoman and songwriter. Raised on Bible hymns by her preacher father, Vos' gospel influences are clearly conveyed in her music – a delivery so effortless it’s unable to be taught.
released SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
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