Fenn Wilson is a singer/songwriter from the Bellarine Peninsula in Australia and he recently released a seven-song album entitled Tales Of The Black Dog. Tales Of The Black Dog contains dark, melancholy songs that revolve around his guitar and vocals (besides the very sparse organ and piano) and I want to put an emphasis on the dark and melancholy part. Everything from the lyrics to the guitar playing feels covered in darkness (it’s no surprise that Wilson has said that Johnny Cash is one of his heroes).
I don’t think it's much of stretch for me to say this type of music has a time and place. It’s not the kind of music you crank in your car on your morning commute to work to get the day going or something you would pop in at a singles mixer. It’s a contemplative, reflective, melancholy mood that in most cases is best felt in solitary moments.
I really did enjoy Wilson’s voice, which is deep, earnest, stoic and smothered in pain not unlike that of his idol Johnny Cash. It really is the element that holds the songs together. The guitar playing is simple but effective as it revolves around basic chord structures. Without his vocals the songs might serve as background music you might put on before you go to sleep.
The album starts with one of the saddest songs on an album full of sad songs. He sings, “Black Dog ain't you got another place to go / Cause I'm tired and I’m weak I'm sick of you snippin at my feet.” Fenn is a storyteller on “Jonny and Mary” while “Little Things” has, however slight, brief moments of hope.
I will say a lot of the songs sound similar because of the lack of instrumentation and the fact that Wilson’s delivery does not vary much. I don’t think the songs needed much but adding additional disparate elements to some of the songs may have helped separate them.
Overall, Tales Of The Black Dog is one you put between artists like Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron and Wine and Sufjan Stevens. It’s a dark affair that everyone can relate to at some point, which at its best can create a feeling of solace and empathy.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook