Ancient Shapes is the surprising new project from songwriter Daniel Romano. Though he is best known for his recent work evoking the sounds of classic country music, he’s always been a free and restless spirit, a gifted and masterful musician and artist, a magpie flying free of genre.
Romano was feeling defeated after a lengthy production session. The drums were set up and he rolled tape, banging through 20 minutes of rhythm just to get the sweat out. There and then Ancient Shapes was born, and quickly blossomed outward with layers of brash guitars and trebly bass. All this in a day’s work but the words, soon to be found amid the abandoned poems that did not have a home beyond the pages scattered on the floor. What didn’t fit was cut. What space remained was improvised.
The result is instant, immediate and fierce power pop reminiscent of early Buzzcocks and Television with surprising hints of Romano’s roots in hardcore and a lifelong Dylan fascination. The music is hard and desperate, as it should be, the vocals balanced on the rails but never quite falling off. Ancient Shapes is a study of a blank and nameless generation. This is the sound. These are the moves. The name is Ancient Shapes. May we all have fearless death tomorrow.
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