Album: Dog Daisies – Moonbathing review

by Philip Moss

Ste Hudson continues to turn the kaleidoscope to deliver his most focused and bizarro set of tunes yet

It’s fair to say that Dog Daisies’ Ste Hudson sees the world through a lens all of his own. Whether penning album reviews (check his thoughts on Songs:Ohia’s Magnolia Electric Co. here), or noodling away at his brand of home recorded, lo-fi, pop masterpieces (note: An Inland Voyage Pt. 2Eagletism and You Are Here (Sorry)), there’s an unrivalled romanticism. And Moonbathing is his most fully focused, complete version of his vision yet.

Lead single, Taste of Honey, marries Wilco’s A Ghost is Born with Badly Drawn Boy’s debut, The Hour of Bewilderbeast, on a piano led, nighttime wandering that provides the perfect signpost for the Volta of his latest full length collection.

In many ways, Moonbathing does feel smaller – but that would very much be taking it at face value. Because despite the chugging guitars of The Way, the ‘big indie’ feel of his debut is curbed, and the ambitions of his songwriting are very much expanded. On long time live favourite, Baby is Blue, Eels’ Blinking Lights and Other Revelations feels like the perfect touchstone. It gets recorded version it deserves – and despite the temptations to turn its infectiousness into swollen, overblown territory, he lets the sweet words and melody take the lead.

Hudson continues to hone his eye on the minutiae (‘the golf clubs that shimmer in the back of your daddy’s car,’ on opener, Abraham Heights) while still posing the big questions on closer, This World (‘I want to know how you can live in this world?’). And along with the wonky piano playing, and the charming, heartfelt songs, it’s this balance that really makes Moonbathing shine.

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