Western Mourning

Digital album / PAN 071

Includes download in MP3 format.
  • 1. Don’t Take Your Gun and Go Into Town
  • 2. Lead a Horse to Drinking
  • 3. Cold as the Clay

A dreamy cowboy and cowgirl soundtrack, with an idiosyncratic live sound and a relentless delay pedal effect countered by an overbearing diatonicism that goes just far enough to push through to an epic 80s movie montage reference. Heartbreaking at times, and playfully silly at others, it is low-fidelity honesty. A white key preference that’s all grit and stubborn prairie intention. Western Mourning is a one-time musical event in its entirety.

Recorded live in Regina, SK during October 2011

Jeff Morton: casio keyboard
Darcy Jean: guitar, delay pedal

“Like the best Ameritronic music (that’s an unnecessary but useful amalgam of Americana and electronic), Western Mourning by Darcy Jean and Jeff Morton has all the stuff of songs, minus the songs themselves. There are loose semblances of tonal structures, and fairly recognizable instrumentation, notably the lightly struck guitars, and there are production effects that lend depth and resonance, and even if there aren’t songs there are compositional approaches, an inherent sense of development, even if it’s more a matter of sonic inquisitiveness than of melodic evolution. In “Lead a Horse to Drinking,” the shimmer of a gently touched guitar string, what might be a grace note’s grace note, expands into several seconds of winsome feedback. In “Don’t Take Your Gun and Go Into Town,” the echo finds a comfort zone between the concrete-and-iron aesthetic of industrial music and the rural affect of country music. And “Cold as the Clay” makes much of bent notes and erratic percussion. The titles themselves hint at the duo’s purposefully pedestrian intent. “Don’t Take Your Gun and Go Into Town” seems to remove the poetry from the similar Johnny Cash refrain, while “Cold as the Clay” adds a beat and thus diminishes the readily available alliteration. “Lead a Horse to Drinking” seems just shy of the jokey wordplay that emanates from so many Nashville publishing houses.”
Marc Weidenbaum, Disquiet

  • Date available: 2012-09-28


Jeff Morton