steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

A Man & A Guitar

"Hate Me Tender" CDR

Dust Wind Tales

Genre: lo-fi, experimental folk, folk-pop


Jan 22, 2009

France's Bruno Duplant comprises the human half of A Man & A Guitar, a rather self-explanatory project whose Hate Me Tender has been given the always promising Dust Wind Tales treatment. This 50-copy wonder comes in the lo-fi hometaper mould, matching reverberating guitar strums with a deep and personal voice. Occasionally, a drum machine rhythm is added. Duplant's croon sometimes resembles that of Stephen Merritt ("Lonesome") but at other times his vague French accent dispels such notions.

Hate Me Tender has a midnight-esque darkness to it, conjuring up the image of a haunting guitar confessional taking place at a campfire in the wilderness. Thus, it is the atmosphere of these songs that is their most rewarding asset. Meanwhile, the compositions themselves are often very simple, relying on repeated melodic phrases and straightforward, strummed rhythms. Hence, a track like "Lay Down" is successful because of its intangible haunting quality, something borrowed from early Smog and select Jandek material. Despite its simplicity, or perhaps because of it, Hate Me Tender has an uncanny knack for getting into your head - tongue-in-cheek "Hey Sister!" and Southern tinged "Lonesome" are prime examples. Of course, several of the songs don't stick out from the rest of the litter ("Afraid of You," "I Don't Know") but nothing disrupts the overall appeal of A Man & A Guitar's record. Hence, despite a few lesser moments, Hate Me Tender marks an intriguing and ultimately satisfying release for the Dust Wind Tales camp.

a man & a guitar's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, 50 copies, distributed by the label, released 2008]