Brother Dege is a folksy blues artist most people, myself included, are probably unfamiliar with. Although Dege is not particularly well known within the music industry, he is most definitely not a newbie. Prior to How to Kill a Horse, Dege has recorded and released various other albums, proving to be a seasoned artist who knows what he’s doing. With How to Kill a Horse, it is apparent that Dege is not artistically afraid to do things his own way. This 10-track album, produced by Dege himself, shows Brother Dege as an artist who refuses to sell out his unique Southern, gritty, and rustic style for one that is radio-friendly.
As the title may indicate, How to Kill a Horse is an album with a very haunting, dark, and ominous feel to it. Each and every track relentlessly reinforces this eerie atmosphere for the duration of the album. Songs that best represent the album include the title track “How to Kill a Horse,” the instrumental “O’Dark30,” “Wehyah,” and “Last Man Out of Babylon.” More so than the lyrics themselves, Brother Dege relies upon the acoustic, bluesy melodies and arrangements of each song to manipulate the album’s overall attitude. As a result, I feel as if the lyrics struggle to stand out. With the similar sounds Dege uses to create this atmosphere, many of the songs also struggle to stand out from one another. However, perhaps Brother Dege consciously chose to focus more on the sounds and less on the lyrics to further convey the album’s haunting, dark, and ominous vibes.
If you are into catchy, upbeat, radio-friendly songs with strong lyrics, How to Kill a Horse will more than likely not capture your attention. But if you’re musical interests lie in how simple melodies and arrangements can evoke certain emotions or feelings, you might just want to give Brother Dege’s How to Kill a Horse a listen!
Matthew Peterson – “Weekday Update” Mondays 7:00pm – 8:00pm