Canada’s The Dead South have just released their much-anticipated fourth studio album; 'Chains & Stakes'. Full to the brim with ghost stories, tales of love, loss and deception, it is a body of work true to the charm of its creators, sure to reiterate their standing as a dearly beloved band across the globe, as well as the best-of-the-best at what they do.
A phenomenal bluegrass album dripping with warm, soulful harmonies, bright layers of guitar and banjo melodies, 'Chains & Stakes' takes its listener on a journey through sound and story alike. Sonically, the album snakes effortlessly between instances of gentle, dark and winding tunes, and those of vibrant speedy banjos and jangly guitars. With both conjuring so perfectly within each song their respective scenes of small-town murders, devious lovers and old western cantinas, The Dead South establish themselves as masters of storytelling through music.
Lyrically, too, the record is characterised by a diverse range of styles. Tracks like ‘Blood On The Mind’ and ‘Father John’ are grim and eerie, telling of “[bodies] on the shoreline” and “filthy [men] … [putting] wicked ones away.” They encapsulate what can only be compared to the feeling of a ghost story by a campfire, grand and haunting, causing chills down the spine of its listener. Some, on the other hand, radiate nothing short of tenderness and joy; the likes of ‘Son Of Ambrose,’ which portrays the life story of a man named William, before ultimately closing with the sentiment: “Oh my family it will be alright, just hold onto each other through this life / Oh my family it'll be alright, keep shining your light."
The likes of ‘The Cured Contessa’ lean more towards being light-hearted and, at times, downright cheeky; “We've been waking up earlier these days, that's for sure / The bed is hardly ever made but that's alright with her.” Others, yet again, such as ‘Where Has The Time Gone’, ‘Clemency’ and ‘Yore’, are instrumental only, acting simultaneously as an interlude or palette cleanser between stories and moods, while also taking the listener on their own journey of sorts.
Recorded at Panoram Studios in Mexico City, 'Chains & Stakes' was co-produced by Grammy Award winner Jimmy Nutt (The SteelDrivers, Jimmy Buffett) (with additional mixing by Cody Simmons) and mastered by Chris Bethea (Penny & Sparrow, Sleeping At Last).
In celebration of the release of their album, The Dead South will be embarking on tour all around Australia and New Zealand this March and April, with several shows already sold out and others selling fast! With over 1.2 Million monthly listeners on Spotify and nearly 900K followers across socials, these beloved suspender-and-hat-clad crooners are set for quite the comeback in 2024.
Connect with The Dead South,