Donovan Quinn

Your Wicked Man

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Donovan Quinn's second solo album, appearing as a co-release with Soft Abuse and Shrimper, has a bit of the home-recording feeling often associated with the latter label, but more in Quinn and company's general understatement rather than a self-consciously lo-fi sound. Still, the sound of the drums and feeling of rough-and-ready glaze on "Mom's House" are definitely the kind of thing that feels like it should have emerged from a strange home recording a few decades back. The general approach from his first solo release continues here, meaning a mix of post-Dylan singer/songwriter touches from sources old and new; however, from the opening "Winter in a Rented Room" there's an extra sense of careful contemplation that could almost derive from the work of Steve Kilbey as anything else. With that all established early on, Your Wicked Man makes its easy way across ten songs, arrangements gently shaped by Papercuts' Jason Quever throughout. If the sense of continuing to polish a well-honed approach is still persistent on this effort, there's at least a feeling of Quinn coming a little more into his own here; the warm flow of piano echo backing gentle acoustic strumming on "April Tenth" and "Leave Like You Came" seems tailor-made for him. But busier arrangements, as on the snarkily titled but not quite Rolling Stones-related "Street Fighting Girls" and the subsequent quick punch of "The Door Locks Itself," the latter with a lovely, moody chorus, often result in a strong synthesis between Quinn's reflections and a simmering energy, something that the more overtly baroque and stately numbers tend to lose in comparison.

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