Like a beautifully textured carpet but not as interesting. Short on melody, lyrically threadbare with some cod Beach Boys harmonising and rudimentary strumming. There are some obvious influences here (Bonny Prince Billy, Iron & Wine, Mercury Rev etc).
The Appalachian cabin and broken heart is a journalistic eye catcher; it certainly sounds more authentic than being chucked and sulking in a garden shed. But a lot of great albums germinate in solitude and are the result of emotional turmoil, so it's really nothing new.
One also wonders about the wisdom of a bear of a man singing in a keening multitracked falsetto as a way of recapturing a lost girlfriend. A bottle of chardonnay and a Barry White platter would probably have been far more effective.
The album is moderately good in parts - but not that original, and not that poetic (despite some clumsy obscurity). After 4 listens all the way through - it is pretty samey. It's doubtful the 2nd album will be received so rapturously.
The more fanatical fans and disciples should maybe get themselves a portastudio and have a go themselves. The deeper they delve - the less impressed they will be with this particular work.
On a positive note, and in a similar field, try "After The Gold Rush" - Neil Young (for an example of fantastically tuneful high pitch warbling), early Elliott Smith (for musical & lyrical invention) or most Nick Drake (the original man in a shed).
Despite the hype, I'd advise giving this a good long stint on the listening post before buying.
File under - sensitive mock olde timey cove with a beard; they are legion at the moment.
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