Review: Dead Language – s/t


(Independent)

Local pickers and crooners the Dead Language’s debut self-titled album proves a fine display of their spare and delicate arrangements and a showcase for singer/songwriter Katie Baggs’ rich and enchanting vocals. The songs have a direct rustic simplicity to them with a surprising amount of restraint shown in the guitar, banjo, mandolin and violin combinations, with no one player dominating the spotlight, choosing instead to subtly fill in the empty space with their understated pluckings while Katie’s voice seduces you. Obvious standouts are the ballads “Breath by Breath” and the album opener “The Dance” which are just total heart rippers. This is a CD that falls into the rare list of albums where the hidden end track is one of the most compelling on the record, the sprightly and energetic instrumental would’ve been better placed somewhere in the second half where the pace starts to drag. All in all a truly lovely set of ballads and lullabies.

— Patrick Canning