LABEL | ANTI RECORDS
Sean Rowe has an extensive knowledge of the wilderness and is able to spend weeks in the woods, foraging a living for himself. His beard matches the oft-told story; his sunken eyes reveal a man who’s seen some things, and on Madman (now available) his bellowing voice carries a grim, heavy texture that shows he may match the title. It’s his third release with Anti Records, and possibly his most diverse album yet—bringing his life in the woods and life on the road altogether.
The opening track moseys in with the singer/songwriter howling over an acoustic welcoming. His grumbling baritone is reminiscent of Mr. Cash, octaves few can contemplate reaching. “Shine My Diamond Ring” combats this with sharp, frantic squeals of saxophone jabs that may be reminiscent of a feral raccoon encounter from his time in the outdoors. The accompanying jug band aesthetics would charm the man in black himself. It’s a sweaty delta blues track that explodes into a neurotic, jazz-infused hot mess.
“Desiree” adds yet another style to the mix with funk-infused rhythms.Its energy goes through the roof and sneaks in ecstatic yelps from a backup voice that’s self-aware and loving the moment. The whole album weaves in and out of varying influences and it holds together very well through all of its explorations. Between Rowe’s somber rambling and soulful compositions, Madman winds around itself fluidly.