19 October 2018 (released)
19 October 2018
I feel almost embarrassed that I had never heard Art Theefe before seeing an advert for this release on social media.
Now that I have spent a few days with the album I am now desperate to see them live and to explore their music further – this is magnificent.
Art Theefe are a three piece outfit comprising Matt Sage on vocals and guitars, Joshua Rigal on bass and keyboards and Joel Bassuk on drums and percussion.
Their music is intense, atmospheric and has a sense of darkness that seems to be present everywhere but the quality of the writing and performance allows the listener to delve deeper than the mood and discover some really excellent playing.
The album opens with a single note, plucked and held, on Sage’s guitar, instantly grabbing the ear and setting up intrigue and fascination as to what comes next – ‘I Have Named You The Queen’ is a beautiful love story, loaded with strings and whispered vocals as well as a brilliant bass line from Rigal. Frankly, if this were the only decent track on the album it would be worth getting for just this one.
The opener follows up with ‘I Trained A Spy’. Again, an almost funereal pace but the atmosphere is lighter and Sage’s vocals have a tinge of humour to them.
The track that first attracted me is ‘Steely Jam’ – an instrumental blast that allows all three to stretch out – and in the 3 minutes of furious jamming you can hear all the talents of the three laid out before you.
Elsewhere you find the impassioned beauty of ‘Laudanum Girl’ and the edgy ‘Golden Switch’ showing yet more sides to the talents that make up Art Theefe.
The crossovers between Blues, Folk, Americana and a Floydian rock element keep the attention from track to track and there is a delicious sense of wonder as you come across another twist or turn in this wonderful album.