Album Reviews

David Karsten Daniels: Fear Of Flying [Album Review]

David Karsten Daniels

Pleasant solo acoustic folk acts are a dime a dozen, but few ever break the tradition of mediocrity to reach out and above the others as they fall. Immediately, one has to think of Will Oldham and his empire of monikers. But Oldham will not reign supreme forever. Quickly approaching his trail o’ dust is David Karsten Daniels (MySpace), thanks to his — dare we call it epic — 2008 folk release Fear Of Flying.

Building softly upon the barebones acoustic found in “Wheelchairs”, Daniels quickly disassociates himself from becoming strictly a one-instrument artist. Sounds build in “The Knot Unties” and “Martha Ann”, tracks two and three respectively, going so far as to include the deep growl of a tenor or baritone sax. Possibly the album topper is the near jazz-influenced bouncy folk rant “Falling Down”.

What makes an album like Fear Of Flying so great is that, in all actuality, it is not pleasant solo acoustic folk music. It’s got hints of jazz (the aforementioned “Falling Down”), heavy doses of folk-rock (“A Myoclonic Jerk”), and traces of experiementation that touch virtually every song, from the early moments to the latter half but most prevalent in the midsection. But it’s not above tossing in a more minimal tune like “Wheelchair” and “Everytime A Baby Is Born”.

To tell you the truth, this review is at least seven months late. I should have written this back in June, but life got in the way. Furthermore, Daniels has been making music for years; Fear Of Flying comes as his second Fat Cat release, after 2007’s Sharp Teeth. But even then, his releases stem back to 2000. I guess I have some more catching up to do. And, looking forward now, one thing is sure: next time Daniels drops an album, I’ll be paying attention right away.

Download the David Karsten Daniels Daytrotter Session.

Fear Of Flying by David Karsten Daniels

Fat Cat Records [CD, 2008]

1. Wheelchairs
2. That Knot Unties?
3. Martha Ann
4. Falling Down
5. A Myoclonic Jerk
6. A New Garment
7. Everytime A Baby Is Born
8. The Caretaker
9. Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real

Leave a Reply