AS HIS second solo album for Drag City approaches, LA’s Cory Hanson – Wand frontman and on his own clock, potent (and a little dark) psych-country explorer, has released a third single, to follow the deep grace of “Paper Fog” and the dark-hearted brilliance of “Angeles”; waiting, we’re told, placidly for end of days, a rictus grin flashing winningly, he’s entered into battle with world as it is with the title track of the album, “Pale Horse Rider”.
Besuited in yellow, face semi-masked in a rather disturbing deep red, he guides us eerily through a soothing tale of personal apocalypse, built from wild honey and ambient steel guitar, imagery such as ‘washing the blood from the jewellery you removed from his skull’ delivered with a lover’s confessional candour. Which sounds wholly odd and juxtapositional, and is, and also works beautifully.
A lyric shot through with absence and omen is framed with gentle piano chords, warm floods of slide guitar, aims and hits a Gilded Palace Of Sin level of sad evocation. “Sooner or later, the devil will come” we’re reminded as the songs deepens, a haunting symphony.
He stands out in the desert foothills, conducts the sea, serenades us with a devil’s physiognomy in the back of a taxi, an imp and a portent. Are you ready for the skeletal horse rider’s embrace?
A little caveat here that Pale Horse Rider, da awbum, has been bumped back just a little in the scheme of things; crazy and weird times still, already. That original release date of March 12th has proved unfulfillable, so it’s now April for the digital and May for the wax and little shiny silver versions; as adjusted herein.
But trust us, it’s so, so worth the little extra wait; yeah, of course we have, and we went into hearing the whole thing ready for a really good album, and came out the other side having heard a great one. Watch out for our review nearer the time. It’s a psych-country triumph, it really is. I mean wait till you hear it, like we have.
Cory Hanson’s Pale Horse Rider will be released digitally by Drag City on April 16th and on cassette, CD and vinyl by Drag City on May 21st; you can pre-order your copy here. Really do.