“Billy Cross’ Daughter,” the new release by Menhirs of Er Grah sat in my “to be reviewed?” file for a few weeks, teetering on the edge. When I have a free moment, you see, I skim through that file, on random, and no single song off of this record grabbed me enough to make me move it to the “review” file. But at the same time, every song made me want to find the time to sit down and listen to the whole album, straight through. This weekend, I finally did. And I’m very grateful.
Folk singer/songwriter Thom Carter apparently has a following already, and this is his third record under the name Menhirs of Er Grah (named after the single largest block of stone carved by Neolithic man). From what I’ve read by fans and critics, this is being hailed as his best release. I don’t know about that, as this is the first I’ve ever heard, but I can say that this a well-crafted album that is too delicate to be digested piecemeal. Like a complex Hall and Oates at times, or a more melodic Will Oldham, the record gets better and deeper with each listen. It’s gone from being on my fence as a “thanks but no thanks” to being a candidate for best record of the year.