Release Date: Jul 29, 2016
Record label: Outset
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
DM Stith’s second album arrives seven years after his excellent debut, and though there have been stints in Sufjan Stevens’s live band and collaborations with others, it’s easy to imagine this record swallowing up much of that time. A dizzying range of sounds and ideas are compressed within its 12 tracks, and its lyrics suggest a painstaking process of self-exploration. If that sounds heavy-going, in a way it is: Rooster is full of clatter and distortion; War Machine has the strained intensity of solo Thom Yorke.
Scientists long ago proved that if you were slip and fall overseas, possibly by way of some cartoonish banana slipping incident, you would land somewhere within a five-mile-radius of a Brooklyn, New York, band. Perhaps unfairly, the perennially eclectic-borough has moulded a reputation as the sacred nirvana of indie rockers. But while he’s proud to don his Brooklyn heritage, DM Stith has the disposition of an alien when measured against the 'typical Brooklyn Indie Artist', as he proved on 2009’s critically-acclaimed Heavy Ghost.
Poet, painter and protégé of Sufjan Stevens, David Michael Stith first came to attention in 2009 with ‘Heavy Ghost’, blending his high multi-tracked voice with brass, strings and subtle electronica. After a lengthy writer’s block, he re-emerged as one half of The Revival Hour, a more experimental collaboration with John-Mark Lapham of The Earlies. And now, not before time, comes his solo second album ‘Pigeonhole’.
One of a host of restlessly inventive, ambitious young musicians who emerged from Brooklyn during the latter years of the 2000s, DM Stith hasn’t quite garnered the same levels of acclaim as better known contemporaries like Vampire Weekend, MGMT or Grizzly Bear. That’s probably partly because he’s hardly the most prolific of artists; he waited until he was almost 30 before getting around to releasing his first album, 2009’s Heavy Ghost, while still juggling music with a parallel career as a graphic designer. Stith’s debut was worth the wait, however.
It’s no surprise that DM Stith’s career has been encouraged and endorsed by Sufjan Stevens; the Indiana artist’s strand of outsider Americana takes on the left-leaning mid-00s indie scene and detonates its plaintiveness with industrial electronics. The followup to Heavy Ghost is urgent, if a little ambiguous. My Impatience features an engulfing wall of noise that, by the end, sounds like a furious flock of birds descending and pecking apart a computer at the climax of a nightmare.