A quick read-up on Ned Oldham will tell you he creates mystical Americana folk songs. A listen to his music will support those words. You could even consider questioning his namesake — could it be the less backwoods kin of Will Oldham? Indeed he is. Here he steps out from behind his more well known brother, and away from The Anomoanon of which he fronts, for a wondrous three-song single on Gold Robot Records. On a translucent blue vinyl disc housed within among the best album cover art of the year (courtesy Kevin Earl Taylor), his songs are pure folk heaven.
Accompanied by harmonic acoustic melodies, Ned’s words are bold and beautiful. “The One Light” opens softly with guitar before Ned’s voice takes over. By the end, you’ve realized that Americana music has somehow heightened in greatness and acquired a dulcet tone, and you wonder how Oldham did it. It’s so smooth and comfortable — and so seemingly easy — that it all seems natural. And it is. “Black Dick Pierce” and “If Tomorrow Comes Again” both follow suit perfectly.
Let’s Go Out Tonight is stripped down and personal, raw and good-natured, somewhat pure. Yet, in being so it reveals its own lack of innocence. With life, with experience, there’s a trade-off. Innocence is lost, but wisdom is gained; it is that which Oldham spouts out in verse and chorus. There’s knowledge here, and knowledge can often taste oh so much sweeter than innocence. Or, at least, feel and sound better.
Download: “The One Light” by Ned Oldham
[audio:100920-ned-oldham-the-one-light.mp3|titles=The One Light|artists=Ned Oldham]
Gold Robot Records [7″ Single, 2010]
1. The One Light
2. Black Dick Pierce
3. If Tomorrow Comes Again