ALBUM REVIEW: The Haunted Windchimes


Blank Tape Records

Maybe I was just bored, or perhaps it was an instinctual lust for alcohol, but the old-timey drawing of a jug of moonshine on the Haunted Windchime’s debut, Honey-Moonshine, drew me right in. Society tells me: don’t’ judge a book by its cove, but fuck ‘em. It looked awesome, so I gave it a spin. The Haunted Windchimes, I soon discovered, are a rootsy folk band that raise the hairs on my arms with their bewitching harmonies. Sassy female timbres blur into male-led verses, creating a sound that sways from the holy to the demonic. You can hear a bit of a raspy Andrew Bird in the male vocalist (Inaiah), and a bit of Dolly Parton and Lilly Allen in the females (Chela and Desirae). These three voices snap together like LEGO bricks and remind me of a combo of Fleet Foxes and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The Windchimes hypnotize while remaining springy and fun. Inaiah, Chela and Desirae sing cliché lyrics dealing with love, heartbreak and loneliness, but somehow they do not suffer from this. Non-political lyrics are digestible and make it easier to cozy up to the album. However, with the densely political finisher “A Ballad of Human Progress,” The Windchimes show they can go from Vanilla Ice to Public Enemy at the drop of a dime. It is a refreshing folky burst of anger. The instrumentation is pretty much constant throughout— banjo, guitar, violin, upright bass and the occasional harmonica. No, there isn’t any jug blowing here… but there is one snazzy kazoo solo (“Waitin on a Train”). Listening to Honey-Moonshine reminded me of sitting in a log cabin somewhere in New York with a couple of friends, passing around a large jug of whiskey. It was a great random find (thanks to the album art) and is certainly worth a listen while the weather is still hot. — MATTHEW HENGEVELD

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