As leader of Denton, Texas' Centro-Matic and its slacker country cousin, South San Gabriel, Johnson has been a prolific purveyor of all things bleak and oddly beautiful. Like 2002's solo debut Murder Of Tides, Vultures Await is a narcoleptic song suite of plucked guitar, sombre piano and drums like stuttering heartbeats. Cloaked in strings and cracked vocals, it's hardly laugh-a-minute, but absorbing nonetheless.

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Will Johnson – Vultures Await

As leader of Denton, Texas’ Centro-Matic and its slacker country cousin, South San Gabriel, Johnson has been a prolific purveyor of all things bleak and oddly beautiful. Like 2002’s solo debut Murder Of Tides, Vultures Await is a narcoleptic song suite of plucked guitar, sombre piano and drums like stuttering heartbeats. Cloaked in strings and cracked vocals, it’s hardly laugh-a-minute, but absorbing nonetheless. There are shards of brilliance (banjo-fried instrumental “On, Caledonia”), but undisputed standout is “Catherine Dupree”, an empathetic study of the tragic girl who torched her university as revenge for a supposed faulty degree, only to be consumed by flames.