The raw intimacy of a live performance done with solemn dignity, Karl McCann’s “Ruptured Dreams” touches upon the magic of the blues in a barebones, soulful way. Despite the adherence to minimalism that frames the journey he brings up strong, deeply felt emotions. Minimalism does not mean simplicity for these are deep, meaningful explorations into the psyche. Unadorned by excess, he strikes to the root, the very core of what it means to be alive in this very moment. His songs then serve as small meditations on the loneliness that dwells in so many across the world, as they yearn for together once more.
Stark yet direct lyricism brings up comparisons to Leadbelly’s work, as there is a classic timeliness he utilizes throughout. Avoiding trends, his is a sound that defies categorization for although he has an ancient tenor at times, he does draw from the sheer earnestness of groups such as Codeine and Bedhead. During specific moments he even expresses a desire for affection, one that hopes for a togetherness, a sense of warmth to radiate all the way through. By keeping things this way, there is a humility to the music that helps to inform it.
Every gesture gets amplified in full with the soothing daydream of “Like a Star”. Using a bit of magical realism within the verses there is a childlike wonder that emerges out of the sculpted narrative. His voice, low yet infused with heart, adds to the power of the performance. A hesitant hope takes hold of the delicate “Take Yr Time” for there is a pastoral beauty to the way the work blooms. Deep rich guitar strings give “Another Lover” a rhythmic quality. Quite meditative there is a hypnotic way that he lets the groove take form, as the bass possesses depth. “So Obscene (Oscar’s Theme)” features short, staccato guitar chords for his voice has a slyness to it. With a hint of a 70s singer-storywriter “Lost in the Dark” features a great degree of flair, as the song’s surprising grandeur is revealed in the sudden shout from the mixture of strong chords intertwined with delicate work. Nostalgia enters into the equation on the pining aspect of “Play for Another”. Well-titled “Lusus Dance” brings the album to a close with a song that sounds centuries’ old, akin to a long-lost folk tune.
“Ruptured Dreams” revels in the pared-down, the raw grit and soul that defines true art, and Karl McCann explores this with pure honesty.