This month’s new release buzz has all been about Nothing and Pity Sex. And there’s nowt wrong with that. Both are road warriors who’ve earned their audience, and their acclaim. May we add to this esteemed group an artist who has spent years honing and sharpening an amazing sound: Dale Humphries’ Voices From Deep Below. Their fourth studio LP, This Place Will Raise Up, is woozy, tuneful, and fully anthemic. If you’re a fan of this sound (you’d probably not be reading this if you weren’t), we’d frankly dare you not to fall in love. Press play, and read on.
Drop the needle on the album’s opener, “Wait There”, and the journey begins. If it seems that journey has begun with you waking up from a cough syrup hangover, that’s not unintentional. You’re asked to lose your bearings, and give in to dizziness, right from the get-go. Once you’re sufficiently off-balance, as though you’d been spun around blindfolded repeatedly, you’ve got the right state of mind for what follows. Not that “Wait There” is simply to be skipped over, quite the contrary: its lush, watery tones and slow churn make this perhaps the shiniest jewel among the stones. If the whole album sounded like a 40-minute exploration of this structure alone, I don’t think you’d hear many complaints.
“We Are The Same” opens with expansive power chords, accessible hooks, and an overall “bigness” that put this project on par with some of the new heavyweights in the genre. “This Place Will Raise Up” ratchets up the anthemic quality, but without sacrificing any of the delicious quirkiness that makes the effort so rewarding. “Radiate” is the sound of the sun setting over the hills behind the metroplex, expansive and brooding. By the time you reach “Merge”, with its nostalgic feels set to a shuffle beat, if you haven’t fallen yet, we can’t help you.
This is a great album to break up to, to fall in love to, to go on a life adventure with. Voices from Deep Below have been putting out compelling tunes for a while now. If you’ve allowed Dale Humphries’ output to pass by your radar, it’s probably well past time you caught up. The album is a free download, but this is an effort that deserves to have money and praise lavished on it. This Place Will Raise Up is a hidden jewel that shouldn’t be hidden.