The Desolation Singers play a bruised and battered form of gospel-blues, which sounds like it’s staggering through the woods searching for salvation. Opening track “Hanged Man” sees singer Madame B shouting for help over a guitar din. “Circle of Crows” features bluesy, slow strummed acoustic guitar, with mumbled vocals cursing everything in sight. “Tear You Up” featured a minimal acoustic arrangement, as well as male vocals from the other member of the group, Neddal. Both singers’ vocals are as hushed and minimal as the music. “The Blood Between Us” is the only track on the disc to feature drums, with a guest drummer named Fred pounding out a slow dirge-tempo beat while Madame B sings a damning refrain in a thick, throaty voice. “Lexo” features more sorrowful, far-off singing from Madame B over both acoustic and electric guitars. “John the Revelator” is the most straightforward gospel song here, with tambourine and clear lead vocals by Neddal, along with barely attached minimal guitar and background shouting frm Madame B. “Sun Will Rise” seems to provide a tiny sliver of hope, and “Shaking Tree” barely contains that trace of hope with its banjo-fied arrangement.
The disc is a little over 20 minutes long, but it carries a considerable amount of emotional weight. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to figure out which emotions are providing that weight. Dark, scorned music which struggles to make peace.