Being the enfant terrible of the current dark folk scene, King Dude is also one of its most intriguing personas, matched only perhaps by the likes of David Eugene Edwards or a veteran like Tony Wakeford.
Stylistically, Thomas Jefferson Cowgill as his mother named him, sits somewhere in between Nick Cave, old ‘new wave’ classic acts like Joy Division and the more obscure ranges within country music. As a kind of counterpoint to his last few records, ‘Full Virgo Moon’ is again much more of a solo affair. In a way closer to his earliest works before he operated as a full band. The songs are stripped to their bare minimum, which brings the folk aspect of his dark Americana more to the fore. Cowgill’s lyrics are both intentionally confrontational as well as mysteriously poetic. “Death, you filthy whore, I crave you more and more.” as he keeps chanting on two of the latter songs, is but one example of his brooding, evocative poetry.
‘A Shadow’s Theme’ opens the album with a menacing drone, which sets the tone for a somber record indeed. ‘My Rose By the Sea (Satyr Boy)’ and the title track illustrate this renewed Spartan approach. A minimal instrumentation accompanies Cowgill’s love songs of bottomless despair.
‘Forty Fives Say Six Six Six’ is the song that most clearly references its country roots. Listening to the song invariably evokes images of desolate, open plains, while ‘The Satanic Temple’ is essentially a slowed down, rowdy punk rocker on acoustic guitar. Carried by a set of pall-bearing strings ‘Forgive My Sins’ is possibly one of the most depressing confession he’s penned so far. “There is a place where dreams go to die. I know, because I’ve been there before”.
‘Makes me Blind’ and ‘A Funeral for Atheists’ act in tandem, the latter reinterpreting the motifs and lyrics of the former in a sober piano driven eulogy. ‘Something About You’ in a way sums up the effect the artist has on you. His songs sound as if they walked out of a western and straight onto a set of a David Lynch film. There is something about King Dude: mystifying, alienating & controversial.
Release date: March 13 2020
Label: Ván Records
- Intro (A shadow’s Theme)
- My Rose By the Sea (Satyr Boy)
- Full Virgo Moon
- Forty Fives Say Six Six Six
- The Satanic Temple
- Forgive My Sins
- Makes Me Blind
- A Funeral song For Atheists
- Something About You