Revered for his work fronting the influential group Pedro The Lion, Curse Your Branches is David Bazan's first full-length release under his own name. It's a flat-out masterwork by a modern American poet at the height of his powers (Paste Magazine called him a Dostoevsky for our all-at-once world and one of the 100 Best Living Songwriters alongside indie-rock stalwarts like Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and
legends like Nick Cave, Merle Haggard, Sly Stone, Dolly Parton, Kris
Kristofferson, and John Prine and that's not even listing any of their Top 20).
Pedro the Lion got started playing to the Christian rock scene, but the narrative arc of Bazan's albums has increasingly traced his crisis of faith and his questioning of the Evangelical world in which he was raised; while retaining the vast majority of his original audience, the strength and subtlety of his work also has built a large secular audience and garnered him mainstream critical acclaim. Curse Your Branches is the deepest and most overtly autobiographical exploration of his theological struggles and resulting battle with alcohol to date, and a meditation on all things passed between the generations belief, doubt, love, addiction that showcases his incredible arrangements and melodic sense,
and, of course, the trademark dark humor, incisive lyrical economy, and light touch in dealing with heavy themes that has drawn comparisons to no lesser talents than Prine, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen.
The best music of his career. --Filter
Bazan is as polarizing as he is fascinating; some have called him the Neil Young of the Christian indie rock underground. Above all that, however, is the music, and Curse Your Branches represents a stunning stride forward...
It s got a slow burn quality, sneaking up, sinking in its claws, then waiting for the third, fourth, maybe fifth listen. At that point, well, how does the saying go? Faith will be rewarded. --Stereophile
Deeply personal and jaded pitched roughly between the fireside balladry of mid-period R.E.M. and the languid melodic radiance of Red House Painters --Under The Radar