There’s a revelatory catharsis running through “Jesus Knew” like a vein of gold hidden under a mountain of rubble. Guy Barash is joined by an incredible cast of artists for Killdeer: pianist Kathleen Supové, guitarist Eyal Maoz, trumpeter Frank London, and author Nick Flynn. Sonic atmospheres simmering with tense electronics and angular guitar explorations lay the bedrock for Flynn’s spoken word inquisitions.
Themes of parenthood and generational trauma are stitched through Killdeer, in Flynn’s words obviously, but within the searching, heated aural entanglements too. Barash and Maoz dance in meticulous, mournful shadows cast by London’s trumpet before Supové interjects with pointillist echoes. This music is grounded, almost subterranean, but Flynn tiptoes above the roiling timbres and stoic cadence to deliver memorable line after memorable line, reflecting on the way trauma begets trauma beyond any and all intentions. “Jesus knew he’d die; he just didn’t know how. And that bothered him sometimes,” he provokes, continuing, “Then he’d do one of his little tricks … but the tricks stopped working. He forgot why he did them and what for … He confused a story about a guy named Jesus with a story about a father he never knew.”
“Jesus Knew” appears on Killdeer, out on February 10 via New Focus. Stream below and pre-order HERE.