Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits (2012)
Handsome Furs never garnered as much attention as I thought they deserved. The energetic Dan Boeckner’s latest project partners him with Spoon’s Britt Daniel and this album fills the void left behind when the Furs called it quits. ‘My Love Is Real’ opens the album and doesn’t sound all that different from where Handsome Furs left off with their synth-pop. ‘Flaggin a Ride’ reflects more of Daniel’s influence from Spoon and the remainder of the album bends between their two personalities. Clawing at the darkness, ‘For Your Heart’ drapes a wounded heart in percolating keyboards and feels like Depeche Mode covered in sweat and grit. The frantic ‘What Gets You Alone’ is a breathless jam that finds the perfect balance between Spoon, Handsome Furs, and Wolf Parade.
With A Thing Called Divine Fits, Daniel and Boeckner have struck upon a new direction for their distinct styles and it may be awhile before any of us are missing their other bands. Well, maybe. I still would love a new Handsome Furs record! – Jason Lent
With most bluesmen grumbling and groaning their whiskey-soaked seen-it-all-isms, dwelling on frames they either can’t escape or reclaim, Skip James’ voice baffles. He certainly isn’t the first to boast a tone of resplendent purity, but this one is difficult to situate in the rubric’s straight and narrow. More luminous than Mississippi John Hurt, less troubled than Big Bill Broonzy. It’s as though he never really grew up, sipping directly from the fountain of youth, singing as high as a choir boy might while also sporting a humility that stems from lumps absorbed along the way. Childlike awe stripped of its naivety — an openness to the world at large’s whims accompanied by the understanding that these very decrees could turn sour in a hurry. That’s a gamble we’ll take, though, because playing it close to the vest is tantamount to closing the windows and doors that cleave where we’ve been from where it is we wish to be. We’re primed for chimes of freedom and winds of change and whatever else is mixed into the inscrutable hand we’ve been dealt.
Convoyed by sprightly fingerpicking as well as the odd piano tickle, this phosphorescent dozen grinds the erstwhile’s bristles to a halt, momentarily dulling their edges so that we may peer across the present’s vast panorama to remember just how far we still must travel. In this temporal bubble, palisaded from the past, we bear only a veneration for the road ahead. The expanse of kingdom come percolates left, right, and center. It swings in the bluest of blue skies, it colors spring’s blossoms, it’s rarin’ to rise from the soil beneath our feet.
Prints left behind are precisely that, we’ve got our eyes fixed upon the ones we’ve yet to lay down. Today, we belong to the cradle of tomorrow. – Vinh Cao