We wrote pavement on our shoes
We stole a biro and we paid our dues
We paid our respects
We wrote ‘confusion is sex’
And on your shoulder bag
I wrote ‘The Silver Jews’
More one-man band greatness arrives in the form of a bloke called Dan from Edinburgh, who’s got the unsettling abrasion of Pet Politics and the wrecked charm of Agent Simple.
Religious Songs is an intense, eccentric, bittersweet and very wry ep. Unsteady guitars, wounded sentiment and tipsy violins reveal an emotional screw-up with a strong-enough hold on reality to channel the bitter and the sweet in equal measure.
Apart from the obvious Silver Jews reference, there’s Sodastream’s maudlin chamber pop, Adam Green's handmade riot, Syd Barrett’s uneasy vision and folk music's stirring vulnerability.
Keep an eye on Withered Hand because on the basis of this very strong debut there’s a good chance that one day Dan will make a clock-stopping album to file next to Moving Up Country, American Water or Farewell Sorrow.
Favourite lines? There are many. But here's a few from the ep:
I’m getting the words wrong
My hair’s getting too long
And they’re saying
‘How does he really expect to be happy
When he listens to death metal bands?’
You stole my heart and I stole your underwear
I knew you so long
I ran out of cool things to say
All this takeaway food is making me unwell
At my funeral I’m going to get them to sing Highway To Hell