In honor of Halloween, I thought it only fitting to write a little about one of my new favorites, Dead Man’s Bones.
Not only does this band get points for being really good, they get bonus points for creating a completely Halloween themed album. I feel like this is a genre that gets completely neglected, and I’m glad to see a band finally step up to the plate with some spooky tunes.
In all honesty, this album had the potential to be extremely campy, because well, Halloween is a campy holiday… but this isn’t The Monster Mash. Instead, it is a raw, throwback type album with the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s Choir providing some seriously eerie accompaniment.
The collaboration between Zach Shields and Ryan Gosling was an unlikely one. The two met while Gosling was dating actress Rachel McAdams and Shields was dating her sister Kayleen, and they found that the only thing they had in common was their love of horror films. This common interest blossomed into a friendship which led to the obvious next step…creating a band to write songs about graveyards, zombies and lost souls. Naturally.
The album took about two years to make with Gosling learning to play both cello and piano and Shields taking up the drums for the endeavor. Rules were created to keep the album as stripped down and real as possible. Along with playing all instruments on the album, these rules banned electric guitars and click tracks. And in a move reminiscent of The White Stripes of the Black Keys, the band limited themselves to no more than 3 takes on a song, opting for a more flawed realism. The result only adds to the album’s ambiance.