Thrill Jockey

D. CHARLES SPEER & THE HELIX - Leaving the Commonwealth LP

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D. Charles Speer & the Helix came together through a shared love of musical interplay that moves the mind and body. Born from the obsessions and predilections of David Charles Shuford, strains of glassine cruelty, broken glasses and ruptured knees mixed with memories of Chet Atkins lullabies and ZZ Top vids to generate a songcraft steeped in tradition but themed for the burned. A practicing multi-instrumentalist in various New York City improvisational ensembles for the last 15 plus years, Shuford began to feel the pull of the pen soon after the last proposed apocalypse. He began writing and recording music in the style of interweaved rhythms and basic harmonic shapes associated with the music of the 20th century South. Drawing from a deep well of sources and influences, from Memphis string band blasters and Georgia soul merchants to Texas and California psych, to Cajun and country steel strings singing, anything with gusto to spare was fodder for the ear. Through a cutting lyrical style displaying vivid imagery and abject scenarios as well as a compositional sense that maintains a personal and singular sound, Speer manifests a modernist extension of some of America's most enthralling sounds.