Alright, a real mystery. I found this guy posting on a music subreddit some five years ago. He said he’d made an album in the grips of alcoholic depression, then decided it was trash and tossed the whole project. Years later, in a fit of sobriety he pulled it out, listened again and decided it wasn’t bad. I downloaded Deep in the Valley Looking Down because I thought it was an interesting story. What I got for my trouble was magnificent.
It’s a chaotic, risky mess, equal parts misses and hits, and you sit right down in it with him. The recordings are disturbingly personal, low-fi and weird, with lots of looped guitars and feedback, the lyrics are simple and powerful when they exist at all, and the song titles are pure poetry. I’ve always had a fetish for good titles. My favorite of the bunch is, “for the fat girl in the bejeweled sweater, i told you i was genius.” That. That is a fucking title.
I honestly have no idea what happened to this guy. It’s been years now and I can’t find him anywhere on the internet, he never popped his head up again. Who knows if he’s still making music, or if he’s even alive. But I have here this album, and a handful of other tracks, and I treasure them. I would love to find Howlround, wherever he is now, if for no other reason than to tell him someone listened. Someone heard him, mumbling there in the dark. And it was good.