H. USUI - Sings The Blues LP

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Solo darkness from remarkably pedigreed but rarely recorded Japanese legend Hiroyuki Usui (Ghost, Fushitsusha, L, Marble Sheep, A-Musik, August Born, etc.), Sings the Blues is raw and gripping, like a darker version of his all-time classic folk-psych work Holy Letters (VHF). Performed by Usui alone on voice, guitar, banjo, bass, steel guitar and cornet, the music is blunt and rough around the edges—a Tonight’s the Night-like offhandedness that increases the feeling of existential seriousness. Like Holy Letters, most of these tracks are undeniably “blues,” but there’s nary a familiar progression or guitar phrase. Vocals are a whisper, accompanied by simple guitar or banjo. Clever overdubs add to a few of the tracks—untutored (but just right) blats of cornet here, some electronic static there. If you like Loren Connors, Simon Finn, Jandek, Kan Mikami, Six Organs, etc., this is for you. Pressed in a limited edition, the vinyl includes a CD version of the album as well.