KUMD Album Review: Dead Man Winter

Feb 15, 2017

Credit Dead Man Winter

Trampled by Turtles may be on hiatus, but frontman Dave Simonett is here to see Duluthians through the winter with his latest release Furnace.

Simonett’s side project hasn’t released a full album since their 2011debut album Bright Lights. The accomplished singer and songwriter put Trampled on hold to document his recent experience with divorce and separation from his two kids. Completely raw with emotion Furnace archives the sorrows of a man coming up out of life’s latest down turn.

The hauntingly nostalgic track “This House Is on Fire” sets up Furnace’s overarching theme of introspection dipped in a thick batter of almost playful melancholy.

Closing himself off in the same cabin-studio that produced Nirvana’s In Utero, Simonett writes his way out of his own metaphorical winter. Furnace reads like a personal journal, the intimacy leaking through each tracks thin veil of dark humor. “I’m full of charm and I'm full of whiskey and I'm full of shit, most of the time.”

Bright chords featured on songs like “Destroyer” and “Am I Breaking Down” creates a stark contrast alongside blunt lyrics of self-doubt. Furnace yearns to find the life left in the little pieces. “I'm a disaster, I am fading from your young life. I'm growing pale and ghost white, with X’s on my eyes”

Furnace may be the product of divorce, but not a bitter one. Any chances to aim quips of blame at anyone but himself are quickly turned inward. “One time I felt safety and love, but it left as fast as I found it. Now I just break everything that I touch. There’s no way under, or around it.”

Taking a break from Trampled by Turtles furious compilations, Simonett goes back to his roots as a prolific songwriter. The slow ballads and anthems pack an emotional punch that will breakdown even the steeliest of composures. Furnace burns through every stage of grief leaving listeners somber, but somehow hopeful.