The release of “Shed Some Skin” by Secret Salamander is a very bittersweet listen. Sweet in it's weird raw energy and “devil may care” attitude. Bitter in the fact that this is a posthumous release by a much beloved Antifolk presence.
“Secret Salamander: Shed Some Skin” is the final Secret Salamander album from Dashan Coram, a young New York artist who tragically passed away last year. These recordings are being released for the first time as of January 5th 2013 (his birthday). He would have been 32.
Songs like “Beverly” are mellow, acoustic outings... demonstrating the feel of an old folk soul, and capturing a charming vocal harmony between Coram and Joanna Kelly.
The following song (entitled: 'Internet Pawn') completely turns that sound on it's head with an enthusiastic psychedelic freak out that feels like pure energy.
As you listen to the songs on this album, a realization comes that a weird spirit lives in these tracks, a spirit that doesn't need you to accept what it's doing, it's beyond criticism or critique, it simply is, and it's gonna be what it is.
The final track, “Your So Dave”, is personally my favorite of the album. A movingly melancholy ambiance is created by Coram, with lyrics that refuse to hold back and a poignant honesty that's been a constant trait of Coram's style throughout his entire musical catalog. As the sound fades away a quirky soundclip of a back and forth between Adam West and Burt Ward in the 1960's Batman movie comes in... a suitable conclusion... though sadly of course, leaving the listener wanting more.
“Shed Some Skin” is available at this Bandcamp page.