Dietrich Strause “How Cruel That Hunger Binds” (Independent, 2016)

"Dietrich-Strause-2016"With no prior knowledge of Strause, this album on its initial listening, harks back to a simpler era of music with nods to Gospel and R ‘n’ B and touches of Americana. The vocals are sweet and crystal clear, creating an image of a clean cut American teen idol singing his heart out on a 1940’s/50’s stage, wearing pressed trousers, a neat shirt and sporting a short and Brylcreemed hairstyle. The mixing has a faint echo on it, reminiscent of this bygone era and the use of a Wurlizer adds to the nostalgia. But it is fashioned with a modern edge and has a charming wistfulness about it.

The seasons feature heavily from this Boston singer/songwriter who created the essence of this Kickstarter financed album in a writer’s cabin at Lake Winnopesaukee and the solitude and surroundings have had an obvious influence. He displays humour and skilled observation via a multi-instrumental approach. There is an allure to this album – it has old world charisma and clarity. It is captivating and evocative, yet up to date. Well orchestrated and performed, there is a harmonic quirkiness about it. Give it a listen and be transported.

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