Amid shaky reverberations, melancholy crooning and eerie whistles, Bill Campbell, or Thee Midnight Creep, delivers his signature gothically-inflected gospel on his latest release. I Lie Like a Dog at Your Feet is an album that can stand up to the works of the great shiver-inducing wordsmiths; Campbell’s brand of woozy folk is as macabre as any Edgar Allan Poe creation. Minimalist auto-harp accompaniment allows his stirring vocals, suggestive of a soul tormented, to take listeners hostage in a world of brocade, gnarled trees and perpetual dusk. The aptly named opener “Codeine” pairs heady instrumentation with woebegone lyrics that sound like they were uttered in a long empty hallway. The song, and the album, act as an auditory narcotic – hypnotic, calming and, ultimately, hard to let go. But don’t take our word for it – Thee Midnight Creep will be performing live on KEXP at 8 p.m. on February 18.
- Kate Shepherd