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Damon McMahon Sheds Self on Amen Dunes’ 'Love'

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

In writing and performance, McMahon separates himself from the “non-human” identity of Amen Dunes. “It’s definitely not me,” says McMahon. “I try to ultimately separate myself from that. Because if you make yourself too much like your art and performances I think the music and performance becomes a little more bullshitty. You get your ego super wrapped up into it. Because how interesting am I? Not very much. Anybody, any musician, they’re just normal people.” 

Whatever self is at the helm, Love is an incredible piece of work. Album-opener “White Child” kicks off with an eye-opening pair of out-of-rhythm guitars, shortly settling into Arcade Fire-contributor Colin Stetson’s barry sax, stomping drums and the record’s strongest melody. On “Lonely Richard,” over Velvet Underground-style strings, McMahon drops barfly advice on the title character, singing “have yourself a good time,” only to switch to a more sage expression: “you’ve known yourself for all time.” A passionate record, Love is loner music with a sense ofcosmic connectedness.

On display at the final Mondo Nation pop-up show this summer, Love’s long rhythms and McMahon’s arresting voice help bring the music to a meditative headspace, a place McMahon considers to be richly creative. “I think I have to get to that place before making music, or it happens simultaneously,” he says. “I definitely make music to quiet my mind.”

Amen Dunes feat. Axxa/Abraxas, Flower Jesus

8pm Weds, July 2
Silkwörm Studio
1906 S Flores
(210) 607-1322

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