June 11, 2009


Though his debut EP, Curtain Speech, left me skeptical, DM Stith's mammoth full length, Heavy Ghost, is forcing me to eat my words. It's definitely worth your time and patience. Trust me. First active as a visual artist, Stith recently found his place in Brooklyn, where he became friends with Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond who later introduced him to labelmate Sufjan Stevens. After hearing Stith’s material, Worden and Stevens convinced him to begin recording and the rest was history. Asthmatic Kitty lucks out again.

Unlike the all too short Curtain Speech EP, Heavy Ghost finds Stith stretching his sound into a frenetic ebb and flow of strings and keys. Tribal pounding meets choral swirls on “Creekmouth," while “Pigs” finds Stith’s falsetto full of versatility. There's a hallowed atmosphere on Heavy Ghost, and, conceptually, Stith couldn’t have done a better job aligning his aesthetic approach with his subject matter. “Spirit Parade” is a case in point. It's exactly the unstructured mess it ought to be. Heavy Ghost is, without question, a harrowing trek, not least for Stith himself, who you can hear exorcising his demons and coming to terms with the strangeness of his spiritual homecoming. Check him out. He even has a blog and he's way more regular than I am.

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