Dead Man Winter – Furnace (album review)

by Woody on January 27, 2017


This is the second LP by Dead Man Winter, the “side project” of Trampled By Turtles front-man, Dave Simonett. While the first, Bright Lights, was an enjoyable listen, it felt like a diversion from TBT to play some electric guitars with a backbeat. Furnace is much more than that.

Fueled by the dissolution of his marriage, Furnace sees Simonett getting personal on an album that really resonates. Simonett initially approached the album with a scatter-shot approach and he wasn’t happy with results. He then enlisted friends from the MN music scene and holed up at Pachyderm Studios, a place that is half studio and half chalet. With his personal life in a bit of turmoil, the ability to be on lockdown and concentrate on nothing else was a welcome respite; and it comes through on the album.

Nobody likes to hear about the break-up a marriage, especially when children are involved. Simonett drags you in with the lyrics and his delivery. It’s an exhausting but rewarding album, as you feel like you’ve lived every minute with the family and Simonett doesn’t shy away from looking inward for the blame. Destroyer, while upbeat and buoyed by some tasty organ licks, is really some brutal introspection.

On Bright Lights, Simonett sang as if he didn’t know how the TBT fans would react; almost a bit unsure of himself. Furnace, sees a more confident artist, in spite of suffering through a tough time in his life.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Dead Man Winter is here

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