On This Dark Street
If this doesn’t end up being on most savvy critics’ album-of-the-year shortlist, I’ll eat my spleen. It’s been a long wait for Kevin Tihista‘s fifth album, seven years to be precise, during which he‘s parted company with his US label Parasol and struggled through long periods of writers block. Not that it’s at all evident. Here San Francisco-born Kevin spews vitriol like a passive-aggressive nutter. If you enjoy gallows humour, you’ll find plenty here. Lovers tiffs, domestic violence even, the caustic put-downs flow with the same sweet ease his music, which has a melancholic Elliott Smith dreaminess about it.
In terms of mood, only the poppy 'Country Road' comes close to being chirpy, but this is truly insidious stuff. The song 'Jack K', which includes the line "sorry I ripped the cover off your Jack Karouac novel, but I had to blow my nose" shouldn’t make you want to dance…but it does.