Journeyman musician Daniel Ducote was previously the frontman for go-nowhere-much pop tarts, My Sister. He then took the easy-money gig of working with winners from the UK’s X-Factor so it’s a pleasure to hear his new project Ancient History, not least because it sounds nothing like the potentially worrying pitch that might have enabled it: new project from former (failed) pop star turned X-Factor coach.
Actually it sounds like E from Eels and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone’s Owen Ashworth (perhaps specifically his newer project as Advance Base). Hints too of Bill Calahan, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, the early Bright Eyes. Those sorts of touchstones anyway.
So Tracks plays out with woozy, lo-fi arrangements and world-weary vocals, a tack-piano here, a clawed-at acoustic guitar there.
Okay, so something like The Courtyard At Midnite might want to get close to Kurt Wagner’s palette and never quite strikes the right brushstroke – but this is good. It’s really good. Opener, Four-Leafed, had me thinking of Kiwi act, Bannerman. A lovely mood across that and its immediate follow-up, Hands Are For Holding Drinks.
Strong songs. And a committed performance most of the time too – he’s doing the raw/live-in/failure-makes-good broken-arsed sound. And he’s doing it well I reckon.
I like this.