DM Stith makes weird music. Heavy Ghost is a weird album. Among his contemporaries, David Stith has been hailed as a genius for his spooky, otherworldly tracks and production. Inspired by working with pal Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Stith recorded an album of his own, which at times draws to mind eccentric label mates Grampall Jookabox and the more orchestral Sufjan Stevens. DM Stith is nothing if not unique. Tracks range between plodding and creepy to upbeat and whimsical.
On “Thanksgiving Moon,” Stith sings about drinking and starting over, backed by an eerie score. “Braid of Voices” is at once unintelligible and moving. “Fire of Birds” is the album’s most melodic track, bringing to mind a more danceable Microphones. As Stith sings about how “we dance like we’re all on fire,” you have to wonder what blend of mania and introspection inspires this man.
Much of the music makes you feel uneasy, unnerved, and a little preoccupied. Stith often sounds like he’s singing himself into a corner, winding back into his own vocals like a less coherent Andrew Bird. The repetition can be unsettling, and more often than not, the aimless melodies sounded like an organ being tuned or a band readying for the actual show. While I wasn’t always drawn into the songs themselves, listening to them made it impossible to focus on anything else at the same time. Jarring, to say the least.
Best under headphones, this is lonely, crazy music for lonely, crazy people.