REVEREND KRISTIN MICHAEL HAYTER
Saved! (Perpetual Flame Ministries)
While Lingua Ignota was a sonic howl of anguish, a way for Kristin Hayter to process personal trauma, her new incarnation looks to the heavens but ultimately offers little more in the way of light relief. Like Nick Cave, Hayter has a complicated relationship with religion – drawn to the symbolism and imagery, yearning for transcendence, obsessed with an Old Testament God with the power to save but also to punish.
Recorded in a deliberately wonky style that makes it seem like a lost album discovered in a dusty Alabama hayloft, Saved! sees straight-up old-timey spiritual standards There Is Power In The Blood and Precious Lord, Take My Hand rub shoulders with Hayter’s own doomy avant-garde hymns Idumea and May This Comfort And Protect You.
I Will Be With You Always comes across as a sinister spectral threat; All Of My Friends Are Going To Hell is a Southern Gothic War Pigs – but nothing is quite as profoundly unnerving as closer How Can I Keep From Singing, its calmly assured surface subverted by the pained wailing and wild raving in the background, Hayter speaking in tongues and exorcising her demons as she gradually drowns in tape hiss. Warped genius.
words BEN WOOLHEAD