Damien Youth

The Tale of a Shadow

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The wholly acoustic The Tale of a Shadow is one of the most low-key of Damien Youth's releases. In fact, it's not too different from his first cassette releases about a decade prior to the recording of this effort, a big difference being that the sound quality's much better than those early endeavors. Damien Youth has his style and he's sticking to it: quality, tuneful folk-rock in a very British style, most highly reminiscent of Donovan, but with similarities to other U.K. acid folk wordsmiths like Syd Barrett. The only criticism one can offer is that there's little to distinguish it from many of his prior albums. Should you not be able to get enough of it, this is very affecting, slightly haunting pastoral stuff with a slightly devilish kick, ideal for psychic woodsy strolls that hide occasional nasty surprises behind the trees. Occasionally things do take a turn away from the usual format, as some tracks are more in the traditional British folk style, "Winds of Ill" sounding about halfway between Nick Drake and Bert Jansch. The only non-original draws from quite an unconventional source: "Gently Johnny," which sounds like a British folk tune save for the almost shockingly forthright sexually suggestive lyrics, was first heard in the 1970s cult film The Wicker Man.