Good Shepherd is the solo project of Cambridgeshire-based musician Duncan Poyser, who keeps things folky and acoustic, apart from when he allows electronics to disrupt him. Her Darke Aspects, his second release for the Rusted Rail label, fills a 3” CD with 6 songs, and is packaged in a hand-stamped cardboard sleeve.
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Good Shepherd is a dude who sounds like Vic Chesnutt, though he’s actually called Duncan Poyser. On these six songs, he frets over folk music and carries it over to a humble 3” CD that’s barely confident enough to exist. I say exist, Poyser; exist all the way. ‘Her Darke Aspects’ is a humble, lightly arranged record that mainly focuses on the delicacy of strums, the fracture of voice and stifle of acoustics; lyrics and narratives weave in and out, but the scratchy, nascent recordings make them meandering and inconsequential. What remains is the tone of the record -- its mumbling and its melodies.
These songs are lowly but ultimately lovely, carrying with them an almost neo-folk aesthetic when flourishes come into play: “There Is a Mountain” plays with ominous bonus riffs, while “Sing Again” twiddles with picks and lushly produced strums -- Poyser’s voice begins strained and quiet before confidently rising out of the instrumentation. On “Song for Isaac”, tape hiss crackles inbetween every note, immediately making Poyser’s quiet ruminations rural. Good, pastoral music; my editor Clint still needs to buy me that log cabin.
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