'...gentle, strange and dark pop music....strikingly daring.'
'This is indie-rock not easily described.... Let's just say that this isn't like all the other indie bands out there. This is good.'
-Past and Present webzine
A little over four years since How To Move A Piano, Puritan follows up with Come Sit By The Lake Tonight, and the new album answers a question posed by the last: 'Can I Shimmy?' Yes, he can.
Where How To Move A Piano drifted softly in and out like fog, Come Sit By The Lake Tonight jangles its way across nine sturdy numbers which manage to straddle a fine line between soft, acoustic guitar rock and synthesized funk. Anchored by Will Moore’s dynamic co-production, Come Sit By The Lake Tonight brings Hamma’s vision of Puritan to new heights.
'Blackmail' sets the tone for the rest of the record: sweet art rock with a jazz tinge and Hamma’s charmingly half-sung/half-spoken vocals delivering some gorgeous lyrics ('I thought my heart would lighten if I left it in the sun...'). While he’s as poetically powerful as ever, on the new album, Hamma’s lines are at times transformed excitingly from a beat poet’s to a slam poet’s: 'I remember when you hit like a punk/Now you just wait for the easy chunk,' from 'The Chair.'
There’s one of those late 60s sci-fi synthesizers that runs prominently throughout the album which, in moments, turns Puritan into a kind of Aimee Mann starring as Dr. Who (you gotta hear it to believe it). On another spy note, 'Morning Hair' is private i. music circa 1940: the sound of cool cats in smoky bars with just a bit of tension over their pool sticks. Here, Hamma emerges as the lone silhouette beneath a street lamp outside, lighting his pipe in the swirling city smog.
There are still some lovely lullabies in the bunch. 'Sanguine Arms' picks up where Mazzy Star left off (with a hint of country twang to boot), and 'Expulsion' is a lilting song awaiting its campfire sing-along. But what makes Come Sit By The Lake Tonight shine is that while it’s pretty as ever, it’s also direct – music you can dream and snap along to all at once.
released January 27, 2004
COME SIT BY THE LAKE TONIGHT
Played and sung by David Hamma
Will Moore: synthesizers, backing vocals, percussion, hand claps, chord organ, wah guitar, harmonica
Heidi Nelms: bass (1–5, 8), backing vocals, whistles, hand claps
Cory Brittain: drums (5, 6, 8, 9), percussion (5, 6), keyboards (9)
AJ Neitenbach: lap steel (4)
Kerry Tucker: alto saxophone (9)
This record would not have been possible without Will Moore
Grateful to everyone else who played...and those who helped: Jay Paxton, The Brittains, Sun LithoGraphic Arts, Jay & Joe Chilcote, Val & Kim Fernandez, Ariel Caroline, Tory Fiterre, Ayaka Umeda, Travis Rice, Jason Pomeroy, Juha, The Mole, Demune, Kanekoa, Requests Music, Manao Radio, Ed Smith, Chris Kidd, Biscuit, Shiner/Elliott, Bernard, Mom, Family, Friends...and especially Heidi.