Indie blues-rock artist and outsider David A recently released his new long-player, Lit, via his artist-run label Mediavenger.
Speaking about the album, David A says, “‘Lit’ is my most cohesive album to date, and that’s by design. I’ve had more players on some previous individual songs than are on this whole album! As much as I’ve loved recording with a variety of great players on previous outings, the results lacked the cohesion, immediacy, and sheer power of this album. Keeping the same partnerships throughout ‘Lit’ has delivered a unified energy that’s palpable.”
He goes on, “My lyrics are word pictures meant to incite mind movies. I seek always to meld earthy human reality and simple ideas with fresh verbal expression, free of cliches and predictable outcomes – to express the familiar themes of life with fresher and more vivid colors, no retreads allowed.”
Produced by David A and George Harris, the album features the talents of David A (vocals, keyboards on “Prodigal Bastard,” rhythm guitar on “Just Ask Gloria”), George Harris (guitars, pedal steel guitar, sitar), Robert Wegmann (bass, acoustic upright bass), and Angelo Collura (drums).
Encompassing 10 tracks, Lit begins with “If I’m So Strange,” rolling out on dark, dirty guitars riding a potent, mid-tempo rhythm as David A’s tight, rasping tenor imbues the lyrics with snarling-lite timbres. A searing, finessed guitar solo gives the tune cutting edges, as well as room to resonate.
Highlights include “Balustrade,” with its percussive, rumbling intro, followed by low-slung roiling guitars, at once growling and gleaming. Taking on even more abrasion, David A’s vocals range from swashbuckling melodicism to gravelly inflections. A sitar adds deliciously exotic surfaces juxtaposed against a Robin Trower-like guitar.
A personal favorite because of its thrumming, dark coloration atop a thick, throbbing rhythm, “Eastertown” summons up suggestions of Judas Priest, pumping out viscous layers of hard rock. While “Couer D’alene” features straight-ahead rocking energy, painted by the luscious bray of a swanky saxophone.
“Just Ask Gloria” ties the album off with scrummy finality, pushing out on compact guitars traveling on a muscular, linear rhythm, emphasizing a plump, rounded bassline. There’s a contagious earworm flow to this track, giving it a mesmerizing feel that’s irresistible.
Full of visceral textures of blues rock with hints of hard-rock and punk, with Lit, David A delivers the pure essence of what rock n’ roll should be.