10 Songs


Hate him or love him, but he isn’t going away. Tim Kinsella, bless him, from the ever-so-idiosyncratic Joan Of Arc and Owls is back with a new project, Friend/Enemy, that best can be described as free-form lo-fi folk-punk. I think.

Built around simple, loose instrumentation with added layers of sound put on top of that later, this has the character of improvised-but-planned music, like Captain Beefheart and The Fall getting together, playing down-home folk music. In some weird way everything sounds incidental, yet it all falls into place – nothing repeats itself exactly, and the music consists of slight changes in rhythm and timbre and weird accidents that fall right into place, either to be absorbed or never to return. The words, sometimes too-real, often enigmatic, reads like 1950s Beat poetry, with lines going “or of course we did it that afternoon at your father’s by the lake after your operation that morning even though you were still bleeding.” Or “We kissed and kept kissing/She always smelled like oranges and wine/We were learning to live perhaps as if only to not be in a hurry.” Fragmented pieces of beauty go together to make a lovingly crafted whole where everything seems on the verge of falling apart, but keeps on hanging together, keeps making sense. Thrilling.

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