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Man&Man – Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Man&Man – Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 48:57 minutes | 583 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sub Pop Records

Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes: beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, Man Man’s first album in over six years and his Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring.

The 17-track effort, featuring “Cloud Nein,” “Future Peg,” “On the Mend” “Sheela,” and “Animal Attraction,” was produced by Cyrus Ghahremani, mixed by S. Husky Höskulds (Norah Jones, Tom Waits, Mike Patton, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint), and mastered by Dave Cooley (Blood Orange, M83, DIIV, Paramore, Snail Mail, clipping). Dream Hunting…also includes guest vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski on “Future Peg” and “If Only,” and Rebecca Black (singer of the viral pop hit, “Friday”) on “On The Mend” and “Lonely Beuys.” The album follows the release of “Beached” and “Witch,“ Man Man’s contributions to Vol. 4 of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2019.

After a particularly unhinged early phase, experimental genre-bending indie group Man Man showed slights signs of mellowing. Led by wild-eyed songwriter/singer/instrumentalist Honus Honus, the band yowled and hooted through their early albums with a feral energy borrowed from Captain Beefheart and then embellished with cabaret theatrics. There are still hints of that early wildness on sixth album Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, but Man Man funnel their ferociousness into far more accessible pop forms here. This isn’t a completely new direction. Honus and crew have been cleaning their act up incrementally since 2011’s Life Fantastic, and in the time between Man Man albums Honus even made a solo record of children’s music. The songs are served well by more polished production, tunes like “On the Mend” and album standout “Future Peg” molding the band’s unbridled energy into pop structures that would sit well on commercial FM rock radio play lists. The melodies are clear and neatly presented without neutering the group’s signature chaos or adventurous arrangements. Man Man’s genre-flipping essence is still apparent in the slinky cabaret groove of “Goat” or the loungy jazz touches of “Unsweet Meat.” Even the explosive noisy introduction of “Cloud Nein” fades into a feel-good piano pop tune that’s catchier than anything the band have ever done before. Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between continues the turn towards hooks that Man Man began exploring years ago, and like those earlier records it retains the band’s spirit while embracing more accessible songwriting. Even with the more tuneful tracks, the album has enough bizarre lyrical imagery, unexpected outbursts, and general freakiness to keep Man Man from losing the weirdness they built their sound on. – Fred Thomas


1. Man&Man – Dreamers
2. Man&Man – Cloud Nein
3. Man&Man – On the Mend
4. Man&Man – Lonely Beuys
5. Man&Man – Future Peg
6. Man&Man – Goat
7. Man&Man – Inner Iggy
8. Man&Man – Hunters
9. Man&Man – Oyster Point
10. Man&Man – The Prettiest Song in the World
11. Man&Man – Animal Attraction
12. Man&Man – Sheela
13. Man&Man – Unsweet Meat
14. Man&Man – Swan
15. Man&Man – Powder My Wig
16. Man&Man – If Only
17. Man&Man – In the Valley of the In-Between


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