My Morning Jacket, “Victory Dance”
It’s the gong that makes it. From the first ringing sound and the low, thumbed bass notes, the song reaches up and drags you down into a dark pool. Victory Dance is a cold bath of alt-country rock, heavy on the atmosphere, as Jim James’ doubled up vocals relay images of the broken American dream :
“Should I lift the dirt and plant the seed/ Even though I’ll never grow“
When the bass opens up and delivers a low note about a minute in, it’s loud and deep enough to send you back to the 19th century. Keyboards drone over the top whilst the drums tinkle with the hi hats. Horns, synths and percussive waft in and out, but it’s the guttural bass that dominates proceedings.
It builds to a dramatic swirl of electric guitars and yowling vocals, the backing kicking into double time and collapsing into a race of beats.
The opening track of My Morning Jacket’s new record is a trippy, hypnotic vision of heaven, as beguiling as it is powerful.