Released: 2012, February 28
Label: Drag City/Bella Union
I was first introduced to Dirty Three by a good friend sometime in 2003, while living in Chicago. I liked what I heard just fine… but they weren’t an immediate favorite or anything. Like this friend, their music sort of drifted from me for a time. But earlier this year when the press machine began to roll out for newest release in some time I became curious, and ultimately was wooed by first single “Rising Below.” It was heavy, yearning music that pulled at the heart strings and the trio of violin, guitar and drums was a fresh break from whatever I was listening to at the time. Thus it became one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I was that struck by that first song that I went from onetime casual listener to possibly a full-fledged “fan.” I remember the vinyl being delayed slightly, but NPR was gracious enough to feature a full stream of the album around the time of its release. This year has been really good for releases and if I were to have made a “Top Releases of the Year-So-Far” this would have definitely fought for a position on that list. As far as I can tell the band have almost always included incredible paintings with a narrative quality to them on their album covers and this one is no different. The hand-rendered type fits in nicely with illustrative nature of the imagery, as well.