Vic Chesnutt's collaboration with Elephant 6 originals Elf Power, "Dark Developments" was released in the fall of 2008. As intriguing as this combination may seem for hardcore fans of either act, the final sonic results reveal a daunting sum much greater than even the involvement of such esteemed parts would imply; the Elves' lived-in dexterity as a live band goads Vic's vocal delivery to a menacing new muscularity, imbuing this batch of songs with a sinister vibe not dissimilar to John Cale's black classic "Fear," the harsh, articulate sleaze of Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" or the defeated low key soul-music of Nick Lowe's last few records. And Chesnutt's songwriting retains it's trademark literary bent; central songs carry the narrative weight, sturdy construction and lexical mystery of a long lost Raymond Carver story. And as he still woos you with his squelched, beautiful melodies, his sonic turns-in-the road take an even stranger tack with the aid of the psych-pop veterans.
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