Willis Earl Beal – “Monotony”

If a label’s cosign means something to you in 2012, then be advised that XL secured dustbowl throwback Willis Earl Beal to a four(!)-album deal for their imprint Hot Charity. The first of these records is called Acousmatic Sorcery, and it is absolutely fantastic. The recording fidelity is low, and vintage, acoustic blues is the template, but those era-signifiers are both updated by a very contemporary, occasionally dissonant tonal and compositional sense, and made irrelevant by an essential soulfulness that’s perfectly timeless. “Monotony” is all heart and voice and rudimentary chords, and it is as undeniably moving and bare a track as I’ve heard in awhile. See if you like it also over at YouTube. (There’s also this video for “Evening’s Kiss.”)