Crown Of Sparrows 8/10
Texan fortysomething Monk Parker has a curious voice, half Shakespearean ham (think Tom hardy in Taboo), half backwoods mystic. It suits the intense melancholia of Crown Of Sparrows, which consists of fullhearted forays into woozy country darkness, cross-stitched with ghostly shimmers of feedback, Salvation Army horns and decaying piano notes. The title track is an epic gothic-folk waltz, both beautiful and cacophonic; “Night Market” steps slowly at first before evolving into a roaring march, its climax both disturbing and exhilarating. The mood of late-night, post-Lynchian weirdness is unvarying, but seductive.