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Singing Ax

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iTunes Review

Anyone familiar with Josh Tillman knows that he’s been recording beautifully melancholic solo material for years before playing drums for Fleet Foxes. The stark “Three Sisters” is lengthy folk dirge that sets the tone with Tillman crooning in a trembling voice over threadbare acoustic guitar. Throughout the song his strumming hand also keeps a slowed heartbeat tempo by tapping out the time on the guitar’s body. A third of the way in, drums and cymbals crash down as a sublime string section bleeds into the mix. With religious imagery and mentions of primitive mechanics, Tillman seems to be channeling ghosts of the Great Depression. The beautifully dark “Diamondback” would well accompany the Joad family’s desperate quest from Oklahoma to California in Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, while the protagonist of “One Task” keeps to his familial responsibilities in the face of foreboding doom. The title-track further questions the point of existence with a gossamer gloom.

Customer Reviews

Tillman Brings the Weight

This album is HEAVY. I got this two days ago and I've listened to it front to back ten times and made out to it already. If you listen to the tale he's spinning, because this IS freaking folk music not pop/freak/folk or w/e, you can find yourself gettin folked, na' mean? The recordings are so still they make me wanna burn all my equipment in my backyard and go to law school. And stop talking about Fleet Foxes. That's why he did it on his own because it's not a Fleet Foxes album you spoiled brats!


Dude needs to chill.


If you are a fan of Mark Kozelek's solo work and the simpler pieces he does, then you will enjoy this album. Tillman's voice is both rich and heartbreaking aginst the backdrop of a lone acoustic guitar for the most part. Just beautiful work here.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter J. Tillman's music paints languid, sadly beautiful portraits of love and life on the margins with the moody depth of Nick Drake and the country-influenced textures of Ryan Adams. Tillman first made a name for himself playing drums in a pair of indie rock bands, Saxon Shore and Stately, while attending college in New York City. In his spare time, however, he began writing material of his own, citing the music of Nick Drake and Pete Seeger and the writings of Flannery O'Connor as...
Full Bio

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