The title track on the Last Tycoon's new EP, Death By Dixie, is a sleeper. With the climbing banjos, mandolins, and John Gladwin's delicate voice, at first I thought the guy was just another pretty-boy hipster with nothing to say. Suddenly, Gladwin's anger kicks in and you realize that Gladwin actually has a whole mess of things to tell you.
After the recession hit, Gladwin relocated to Sweden (which is...drastic...but sure), in which he spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to not only be American, but to be from the South. Death By Dixie is a collection of sharply written, meditative, and haunting songs. It celebrates the urbanization and industrialization of the modern South while refusing to forget the liberties and lives sacrificed to get it there. If you think Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are brilliant but too fucking loud, The Last Tycoon will be right up your alley. If you love Lee Bains, then you'll love the Last Tycoon.
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