After recently announcing news of his upcoming album ‘Love’, which is set for release on May 12th via Sacred Bones, New York-based Amen Dunes has unveiled a new video & single from the forthcoming record alongside a string of UK & EU tour dates including support slots for both Mac de Marco & Wooden Shjips.
Amen Dunes is also set to play at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, OFF, Way Out West and Jabberwocky Festival on a full EU run this autumn, in addition to the handful of shows in May and June.
The video for new single ‘Lilac In Hand’ offers another intimate and warm look into the forthcoming album. The melancholic video, shot on 16mm film in late winter Montreal, was created and directed by experimental filmmaker and Godspeed You! Black Emperor collaborator Karl Lemieux.
Amen Dunes, the project of New York-based Damon McMahon, is set to release his third full-length album. The upcoming album is inarguably McMahon’s most focused and ambitious work yet. Amen Dunes has always been rooted in traditional song and sound, but ‘Love’ is his first work in which this so clearly shines through. The guiding influence of Astral Weeks, Sam Cooke, Tim Hardin, Marvin Gaye, Hector Lavoe, and the cosmic non-verbal mediations of Leon Thomas, all kept vigil over the songwriting of Love, and the spirit of late 60’s/early 70’s spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders and Alice Coltrane channeled the sound. These are elemental songs about time, love and memory, as much about the listener as they are about the writer: pure, open, and beautiful.
Where the previous Amen Dunes records – D.I.A. (Locust Music, 2009), ‘Murder Dull Mind’ EP (Sacred Bones, July 2010) and ‘Through Donkey Jaw’ (Sacred Bones, August 2011) — had all been largely improvisational first-take affairs, recorded in a matter of weeks at most, ‘Love ‘ is the product of close to a year and a half of continuous work. As McMahon began to flesh out the new material, he found himself guided by the aforementioned work of classic American singers and songs more strongly than on any previous Amen Dunes record. And unlike the earlier recordings of McMahon’s, which were almost always a solo affair, the music on ‘Love’ was performed by a variety of musicians, centered around the core trio and symbiotic interplay of McMahon, and his longstanding collaborators, Jordi Wheeler (guitar and piano) and Parker Kindred (drums).
Eager to capture a musical feeling outside the confines of New York City, McMahon chose to hold the main recording sessions in Montreal with Dave Bryant and Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In addition to recording the sessions that McMahon produced, members of Godspeed also played on several of the songs, along with Colin Stetson on saxophone and several other Montreal musicians. The remainder of the recordings took place back in Brooklyn at Strange Weather and Trout Recording, and featured additional performances by a handful of musicians, including Elias Bender Ronnenfelt of Iceage and Vår, who duets with McMahon on ‘Green Eyes’ and is featured on first single, ‘Lonely Richard.’
See Amen Dunes Live:
19/05 – The Old Market ( w/Mac de Marco), Brighton UK
21/05 – Sound Control (w/ Mac de Marco), Manchester UK
22/05 – Koko (w/Mac de Marco), London UK
23/05 – OT301, Amsterdam, NL
24/05 – Espace B, Paris, FR
28/ 05 – Westgermany , Berlin, DE
29/ 05 – Trix, Antwerp BE
30/05 – Salle Rogier Brussels, BE
03/06 – Electric Ballroom (w/ Wooden Shjips), London UK
31/07 – OFF Festival, Poland PL
08/08 – Way Out West Festival, Sweden SE
15/08 – Jabberwocky Festival, London UK
27/09 – Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, UK