hayleybonar

‘Last War’ may be the first Haley Bonar release to hit record shelves this side of the Atlantic, but the South Dakota songstress is far from a doe-eyed newcomer. Since being spotted as a teenager by Low’s Alan Sparhawk, Bonar’s been on an artistic adventure that has earned her wide-spread affection, not least from Justin Vernon and Chicago multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird. As could be hoped, such prowess oozes through her fifth full length.

‘Kill The Fun’ sets the tone from the top, a rousing slab of skewed country that thuds along like The National at their stirring best, whilst ‘Bad Reputation’ echoes the same driving rhythm, with Bonar’s impressive vocals flitting between a ghostly coo and a Stevie Nicks-ish seductive slur. It’s not all sky-facing sonic soundscapes, though – the quieter moments here are among ‘Last War’’s most special (‘From a Cage’, ‘Eat for Free’), with Bonar’s lyrics given licence to roam above the more minimal arrangements. The latter’s delicate strum, in particular, lifts a page from the aforementioned Bon Iver; a breezy word-hanger that is one of many alluring highlights.

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