KK Hammond and David and the Devil have collaborated to write a murder ballad, inspired by the story of Ed Gein, whose relationship with his over-bearing, religious mother was the basis for the character of Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The choice of subject matter is adventurous and handled well. ‘The Ballad of Lampshade Ed’ is full of sliding twang and KK Hammond’s atmospheric, almost-spoken vocal reinforces the sinister story-telling tone of the lyrical narrative, which is full of engaging detail. The bluesy riffs, sing-along chorus and foot-tapping rhythm draw the listener into the timeless sound; the song feels at once like a traditional, old roots piece while also seeming fresh and new.
The mood and intense story are enhanced by an excellent video created by Tom Hughes of the award-winning Ritual Video. We follow images of Ed as a playful child, though that innocence is stripped away by scenes of his mother’s religious intervention, Ed as an adult and of his implied first kill. The video builds to a horrific climax and the end result is an intriguing visual to accompany an equally intriguing song.
KK Hammond has rapidly built a following thanks to a series of distinctive singles, released in preparation for a full-length album due out in spring 2022. She lives a reclusive life in the Buckinghamshire woods, a life focused on horses, steel guitars and recording in her home studio. David and the Devil are also attracting attention on the roots scene and the iTunes Blues Chart-topping ‘King of the Swamp’ is well-worth checking out. Take note – this is absorbing stuff.