Demian Sharpe
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Demian Sharpe

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The best kept secret in music


I hate to admit when I’m surprised at how good a low-tech self-released album is, but this was the case with Demian Sharpe’s Kid Dracula. Its title and stark, unassuming cover betray the richly varied and introspectively melancholic songs within. Influences such as Joy Division, The Cure and Nick Cave are heavy here, and serve as a point of reference to demonstrate Sharpe’s tendency to transcend pigeonholing. His dark folk and avant-garde mannerisms are a breath of fresh air without gothy pretensions. Just as with Nick Cave, you’ll probably break a sweat trying to figure out how to neatly categorize this disc into a safe, tidy playlist. My advice: don’t bother…just listen and appreciate it for its own merits.


I literally listened to this album over 50 times, all the while trying desperately to find a solid, concise description worthy of its contents—but it dawned on me that this isn’t just a trite collection of music intended to entertain, and is more of an experience than simply a collection of songs. Fascinating Creature is dark, avant-garde indie folk at its most splendidly dejected—an assemblage of pensive musings wherein even the lightest songs are somber reminders that the glass will forever remain half empty. Whether by intent or circumstance, Sharpe’s moonshine production style reinforces that mood by keeping the experience introspective, personal and as real as it can possibly get. With that said: My solid, concise description of Fascinating Creature is that it is best served with a flask of strong whiskey.


Damien Sharpe - Kid Dracula Reviewer: Jimgi
Date Reviewed: 2005-12-02
Score: 10/10

This will be the fourth Damien Sharpe cd I review, and while on his website (now and production material (A whole lyric sheet with a full page poster is included) may show signs of "Moving on from the underground status" this cd shows nothing of that. This deeper cd is lighter (so far), but incredibly more important to what we know as music. No longer do I hear beats from keyboards, but rather full orchestras and playing guitar that is not in anyway chaotic, but beautiful.

This music is like that of church around a camp fire. It's very light, almost acoustic, but synthey. As if nothing is going on except the meloncollie drama within this man or within this world. . It feels like a boat that moves very quickly through an ocean full of hate, it's dark and mysterious. I don't really know what it is, to be honest. It's not real music in sense of orchestra, but rather an instrumental story.

It's scary, and kind of moving. It's passionate, and disturbed. It's beautiful, that's one thing that is keen about this music. It is defiantely musically beautiful. Damien's Voice isn't perfect, it's incredibly better than anything around, but it doesn't fit the guitar extremely well. It reminds me of an opera singer, but it's incredibly disturbed, and passionate. It's fucking passionate, let me tell you.

For the three songs I've listened to (in the midst of the third, entitled, "Never think twice"), I never felt fakeness or anything that wasn't directly from him, if you know what I mean. It's heartful, it kind of reminds me of a sad day in which there's clouds, almost that of a day where Noa had to lead the troops. It has no war element, I think at least. It just moves, almost like that of a boat that has all the animals of the world. He is the leader of all these animals just travelling. I can't determine a reason, but maybe you can.

In his earlier works (especially the first EP I received), the music was a little more fun and a little more jovial. I almost worry about him because this music is dramatic as fuck. It's incredibly delifting and inspirational at the same time. The guitar solo in this song is incredible, not because it's talented, but because it works with the music correctly. Which is sort of very different than his vocals; because his vocals are outstanding, but they overpower the music.

This fourth track is a bit more simple. It's almost blues traveller, dave mathews, mid 90s folk blues. The the vocals work a lot better in this track, though I miss the guitar solo from the previous track. Drums came in quite well, I don't think these are programmed. This track is a lot funnier than the earlier tracks, but it doesn't loose the drama (though I can't say it's as passionate as the first three tracks). The drum in this song is actually really awesome, and fits the song perfectly. The song talks about the wants of a person; though it does get a little descript, "Devoured by envy - and this knife, this blood, they're all for him".

The fifth song is more gospel, much like that of his "beautiful world" album. It is called "The Ballad of Kid Dracula". I'm fairly certain, because of the albums title ("Kid Dracula") is entitled, "a memoire", he may be thinking of himself like that. The cover is a boy wearing a toga or something that is Roman, actually the image itself does seem like that of Caesar. The background is a picture of maybe a pope's robe or something to do with a church. Candles, crosses, the whole 4-9. This song is incredibly light, the lightest so far on the album. I can't say I like this, or the previous song, as much as the first three tracks. They are much lighter, but they are more captivating. The lyrics of this song are very sad, and more so of a story than the previous songs. I think every one of these songs has something that isn't obvious at the beginning, because I noticed - for all of them - something gets added that just makes the song better. These songs are very hard to rate because they are unique, and they definately stand out. And they are definately religious.

This album so far is quite light, not much in the form of rock'n'roll, and very passionate. I think passionate describes this album the best; where as his other albums I could describe as "Fun" (his first EP I recieved) and I think the other two I received as "Beautiful". There's a hell of a lot of passion in these, more so than anything I've heard before. This guy is in his prime, or is just incredibly talented. His guitar work is phenominal, I'd describe it as gospel folk. It's almost like music you'd play if you were leading groups of men with churches to attend the killing of frankenstein. It is also the music that maybe dracula would play in front of his window to call to his love. I should clarify the vocal bit before; I think some of the vocals are incredibly well d -


The following albums are available on Demian's website:
Easter Sunday (2006);
Fascinating Creature (2006);
Kid Dracula (2005);
and New Gospel (2005).
The "unofficial" recordings that preceded these have never been formally catalogued, but are known to number in the hundreds.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Demian had an isolated childhood in a fervently religious household, in which preparing for the apocalypse was a matter of daily routine. As an adolescent, he spent the majority of his time alone in a small room, listening to an "oldies" rock n' roll station, which introduced him to many of the '50s and '60s artists that would influence his songwriting in later life. He started playing his father's guitar at the age of 15, at the very beginning of his "teenage rebellion" phase, and immediately set about trying to form punk bands modeled off of his idols, the Misfits. Later he advanced from punk to heavy metal, and spent a couple of years playing black metal in the Scandinavian tradition of Mayhem, Darkthrone, and Dark Funeral. Due to a variety of personal circumstances, including being arrested and becoming a father, Demian's focus shifted when he was 18 years old, to making more subdued and - possibly - popularly appealing music. It was clear by this time that darkly-themed music came naturally to him, and he looked to Leonard Cohen and Robert Johnson for inspiration. For all his apparent mellowing-out, the initial influence of punk rock never left his songwriting and performance approach, and over the past five years, Demian has patented an utterly individualized style that is rugged but sensitive, morose but witty, scary but charming, intellectual but accessible. Known for his adherence to a minimalist production philosophy and lo-fi recording preferences, and having no time and no taste for the typical rock n' roll lifestyle, Demian has cut himself a permanent niche in today's overwhelmed, flash-in-the-pan music market, preferring to make his way one fan at a time, and avoiding the temptation to generalize his appeal by adulterating his methods. In this, Demian Sharpe may be the first artist ever to employ what might be termed as the "Socratic" approach to achieving rock n' roll immortality.