UNCUT - - New Al­bums - STEphEN Dal­ToN

an­i­mal Com­pan­ion­ship RUN FOR COVER 7/10 Tragi­comic indie bal­ladeer muses on four-legged friends

Since hear­ing prob­lems forced him to wind up his for­mer band Ca­siotone For The Pain­fully Alone, Owen Ash­worth has con­cen­trated on run­ning his own Chicago-based indie la­bel while spo­rad­i­cally record­ing lo-fi ana­logue key­board bal­lads un­der his new mu­si­cal alias Ad­vance Base. In­spired by the close bonds that hu­mans de­velop with their pets, An­i­mal Com­pan­ion­ship is a more som­bre af­fair than it ini­tially sounds as Ash­worth uses an­i­mal love as a lens through which to dis­sect heart­break and loss, bro­ken lives and creep­ing mor­tal­ity. Stand­out tracks in­clude the synth-sat­u­rated Spec­tor-ish weepie “True Love Death Dream” and the care­worn late-night con­fes­sional “Christ­mas In Night­mare City”, which has some of the ragged ten­der­ness of clas­sic Tom Waits.

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