A Hound at the Hem

A Hound at the Hem

by Slim TwigSlim Twig


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Output from Canadian sound experimenter and garbage rock madman Slim Twig has always been a grab bag of styles and rapid-fire ideas. Rudimentary samples, rockabilly riffing, and hints of noise, glam, and punk theatrics all found their way into Twig's various projects as his creative drive morphed from record to record and project to project. A Hound at the Hem is another in a long line of his complex and sometimes brain-melting recordings, but it's easily the most dense and possibly most remarkable entry in his already widely varying catalog. The eight-song album hangs together on loosely connected themes of lust and self-destruction, but doesn't really come across as a concept album. Instead, Twig packs the brief album's chapters so densely with sound and energy, the songs almost imply a heavy narrative with their weighty, damaged psychedelia. Within the space of the first minute or two of album opener "Heavy Splendour," Twig evokes some of the masters of art rock and outsider music. Owen Pallett's gliding string arrangements willfully nod to the thick atmospheres of Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson, and the rock minimalism and bellowed vocals recall Brian Eno, Marc Bolan, and Scott Walker all within the first few minutes of the album. Equal parts dark, brooding rock and fragile chamber pop, A Hound at the Hem walks a conflicted line for its entire duration, resulting in an extremely high-strung, tense-feeling album that paradoxically rides on the strength of its most gentle elements. Baroque harpsichord and Zombies-esque pop moodiness on "Shroud by the Sheetful" give way to tropicalia fuzz guitar, dubby echoes, and Suicide-like keyboard harshness on songs like "Maintain the Charade." The album flies by, but reveals more layers with every subsequent pass. By the end of the album, the pastiche of various unlikely influences sounds more like Twig's own weird voice than a calculated amalgam, and the struggle between darkness and beauty in these songs becomes more of a focus than the many obscure musical reference points they contain.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/27/2014
Label: Dfa Records
UPC: 0829732239324
catalogNumber: 22393
Rank: 195024


  1. Heavy Splendour
  2. Clerical Collar
  3. Widow Were You Younger
  4. Shroud by the Sheetful
  5. All This Wanting
  6. Hover on a Sliver
  7. Maintain the Charade
  8. Blonde Ascending (Come Into the Clatter)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Slim Twig   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Drums,Harpsichord,Vocals,Mellotron
Colin Fisher   Saxophone
Karen Moffat   Viola
John Marshman   Cello
Tilman Lewis   Cello
Jenny Thompson   Violin
Bethany Bergman   Violin
Meg Remy   Vocals
Tim Westberg   Vocals
St. Kitts String Quartet   Strings
Louis Percival   Bass,Drums
Carl Didur   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Harpsichord

Technical Credits

Owen Pallett   String Arrangements
Slim Twig   Composer,Producer,Dub Engineer
Meg Remy   Layout
Tim Westberg   Vocal Arrangements
Louis Percival   Arranger
Carl Didur   Composer

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