New Mexico resident Jeremy Barnes has in previous years caused ripples as part of Neutral Milk Hotel and Bablicon, and has also recorded with Bright Eyes and Broadcast, amongst others. But maybe none of these projects have caused a stir like his second album for the Leaf label as A Hawk And A Hacksaw. Darkness At Noon starts out like a klezmer versus mariachi fist fight and climaxes with Six Organs Of Admittance-style melancholia. Fusing folk styles from the Americas, the Middle East and Eastern Europe with elements of electronica knob-twiddling and found-sound atmospherics, Jeremy's virtuosity spreads across drums, accordion, guitar, violin, vocals, piano and more.
Live, A Hawk... becomes a duo - this sound palette is too big for one person unless its all reduced to laptop trickery, but Jeremy and musical partner Heather Trost insist on onstage multi-instrumentalist extravagance. Even with Heather's help, you can still expect to see Jeremy playing both drums and accordion simultaneously whilst also singing. The kind of artfully executed cross-cultural mash-up that's very hard to find.