While calling to mind the vast and oftentimes desolate American landscape, the folk tales of MUSIKANTO hold their own within the rich tradition of American music. The Chicago-based songwriter grew up listening to his father’s obscure Roots Rock and Folk records and the music of Fraser & Debolt and Jerry Hahn. His backwood sound is a fervent mix of old and new approaches, from broken-down orchestral and experimental folk to simply arranged indie-blues. While a poetic propensity for classic country heartbreak and melodic melodramas are grounds for the music’s steadfast warmth, Musikanto’s open narratives capture the depths of the human spirit with gripping power; his soulful voice always balanced on the verge of collapse.
With 2009’s debut, Ghost Pain, Musikanto’s songs would find home as he traversed through the country. Musikanto’s travels emanate through his music with songs that feel well-travelled -- or, better yet, songs that feel road ready. And if there’s anything apparent from Ghost Pain’s handsome country tones, articulate lyrical insights and understated vocal deliveries, Musikanto makes songs to delve into like a good book.
For his sophomore release, Sky Dresses, Musikanto continues his songwriting repertoire with stripped down arrangements and succinct, thoughtful lyrics. Making countless late-night drives from Chicago to Milwaukee to record the new songs at a friend’s home studio, he listened to the demos and slowly developed their personalities as he drove back and forth, reworking lyrics and adding instrumentation where he heard fit. The album is Musikanto’s first release with Chicago’s Grape Juice Records and stands as a collection of the artist’s most evocative folk stories to date, delivered in his signature vocal ache.