Release Date: Oct 14, 2008
Record label: Orange Twin
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Southern Gothic mysteriousness meets psych-rock to splendid results With his meandering intonation, lyrics and sense of meter, Vic Chesnutt is a singer-songwriter who is seemingly best served by a solo album—or at least with a few supportive but firmly-in-the-background instrumental players. It’s odd, then, that the best of his dozen solo albums is The Salesman and Bernadette, a collaborative project with Lambchop. A kindred wandering spirit, perhaps? Dark Developments features an equally billed Elf Power, the Elephant Six psych-rock band that, like Chesnutt, has strong connections to Athens, Ga.
Athens, GA isn't that big a town, so it's not surprising that Vic Chesnutt would cross paths with fellow hometowners Elf Power, or that he might invite them over to his house to make some music. What is surprising is how well their styles mesh on Dark Developments, a collaborative album recorded at Chesnutt's home studio. Like Chesnutt's excellent The Salesman and Bernadette (which he recorded with Lambchop as his backing band), Dark Developments is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, as the frontman manages to bring out something new and richly satisfying in his musicians, and vice-versa.
Vic Chesnutt is somewhat of a dark horse. One of those that races like beer bubbles beneath the radar. The Southern-fried songwriter has released competent material for over a decade, despite few people noticing. Last year, Chesnutt released a beast of an album with post-rock legends A Silver Mt ….
Vic Chesnutt is nothing if not blessed with friends. Each new album seems to find him backed by talented collaborators with solid back catalogues of their own. Lambchop, Widespread Panic, and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra are among the many bands and artists to help flesh out Chesnutt’s songs, yet such is the uniqueness of the Athens, Georgia songwriter that however varied in texture and scope, each release remains distinctively his.