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AAA Music | 26 May 2022

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David Karsten Daniels & Fight The Big Bull – I Mean To Live Here Still

| On 22, Jun 2010

I Mean To Live Here Still is the folksy brainchild of a collaboration between singer/composer David Karsten Daniels and 9-piece collective Fight The Big Bull. Combining hymn-like vocals with acoustics, percussion and occasional streaks of country, the album is very much in the same vein as that of bands such as Fleet Foxes. This is not to say the record has nothing new to offer, though –  arguably I Mean To Live Here separates itself from other folk albums through a strong emphasis on jazz, a genre you wouldn’t automatically connect to folk.

The decision to merge the two traditions works well in this case though, particularly in tracks like Smoke and Epitaph On The World. Daniel’s effortless vocals are often accompanied by harmonies from the band, resulting in a sound ranging from slow and melancholy to explosive with emotion. The experimental backgrounds of both Daniels and Fight The Big Bull are evident at several points in the album – Die And Be Buried embodies this in particular, keeping us on our toes with frantic, erratic bursts of music that seem to be growing in pressure until finally culminating in at once sad and uplifting cries from Daniels.

Overall, Daniels and Fight The Big Bull succeed in what it is they’re aiming to do – that is, they have created an emotionally deep record without sacrificing melody or accessibility. Providing just the right mix of easy-listening and introspection, the album will appeal to most, though fans of this particular genre of hymn-inspired folk will be especially pleased.

Author: Katharine Sparks