London-based musician Alexander Shields started A Grave With No Name as a lo-fi bedroom recording project and his first two albums reflected that DIY aesthetic. Shields took things into a proper studio for enchanting 2013 effort “Whirlpool” and continues in that vein on “Feathers Wet, Under the Moon,” hands-down the best A Grave With No Name record to date.
Shields wisely enlisted the support of Lambchop’s Mark Nevers and an impressive array of Nashville musicians to flesh out his songs and add a touch of twang to the proceedings. The result is a dreamy 10-track, 36-minute set that should have some mainstream appeal.
“I traveled to Nashville on my own in April 2014 to record with Mark Nevers at his Beech House studio,” Shields recalls. “Mark and I worked on our own for a while and then we started calling in local Nashville musicians for overdubs. The whole record took two weeks to track and then I traveled back to London and we spent a month sending mixes back and forth via email. It felt a long, long way from recording alone in my bedroom.”
Things get off to a middling start with sprawling opener “Nursing Home,” but A Grave With No Name find their groove on “Your Ghost By the Lake” and “Orion.” “Additional keepers include “Candle,” “I Will Ride a Horse: and “Under the Ice.” Shields would be wise to keep his music heading in this enjoyable direction. (Jeffrey Sisk)