It’s been a little bit since something has come out that moved me so much I interrupted the usual workings of 9b to share it, but in the last month or so there has been a plethora of great new music and the album that has probably stood out the most for me is this offering from Buffalo native David Stith. According to his label, Asthmatic Kitty Records, his father is a college wind ensemble director and former church choir director, his grandfather is professor emeritus in the music department at Cornell University, and his mother and sisters play piano and sing opera. No real surprise then that he eventually seemed to have had enough of the whole music thing and went more towards the visual arts. Good thing that he ran into Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and helped produce her first album, which seemed to bring him back to writing his own music.
Stith has garnered comparisons to Jeff Buckley, an analogy which I can definitely hear as his aching alto-verging-on-falsetto voice guides the songs. And for all the years that he took a break from the music he was raised on, there is no doubting the influence that his classically trained upbringing had on Heavy Ghost. The songs on the album are gorgeous, haunting and transcendent, blending into each other seamlessly like the movements of a symphony.
If you are a fan of Buckley, Sufjan Stevens or Antony Hegarty, you should listen to this. If you like lush layers of acoustic instruments, you should listen to this. And if you want to hear something that is ultimately greater than the sum of its comparisons, you should listen to this.