Amen Dunes – ‘Love’

Damon McMahon moves away from psychedelia with heartwarming results

Though Damon McMahon resides in deepest Brooklyn, his third album as Amen Dunes evokes sun-dappled countryside. Led by the dreamy strum of ‘Lonely Richard’, ‘Love’ is a lush, romantic, folk-driven collection that moves away from his earlier, more psychedelic work. The lo-fi scratch of old evaporates, save for momentary gristle on ‘I Can’t Dig It’. Production from Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Dave Bryant and Efrim Menuck and vocals from Iceage’s Elias Bender Ronnenfelt (on ‘Lonely Richard’ and ‘Green Eyes’) add grit to the romance of McMahon’s songs. ‘Rocket Flare’ glides like a cruise liner captained by Cass McCombs, but the eight-minute title track captures this album’s breathtaking power best, McMahon recalling a dream in which he’s “never strung out, never down”.

Ben Homewood