The Red F is the solo project of Phantom Buffalo guitarist and vocalist Tim Burns. On Balm of Gilead, he’s joined by multi-instrumentalist Vince Nez (of Mousa, The Last Sip, The Gumption Junction, et al.) and, on one track, Buffalo drummer Jake Chamberlain. The result is an enchanting psych-folk field trip.
Burns’ reedy, elven voice charms you right off the bat, as do the beautiful melodies draped all over these nine songs. It’s a largely acoustic affair, with Burns handling the axes and adding subtle washes of synth while Nez creates dreamy atmospheres with strings and the occasional saw, trumpet and glockenspiel.
The mood is mostly melancholy (“Hounds,” “All Our Age”) and sometimes downright spooky “(“Orchard Avenue,” “Silver Bones”), though there are bright spots, like the sprightly opener, “Fingers.” Burns’ lyrics are often inscrutable, yet intriguing. I thought the last track, “The Story,” was going to explain everything that preceded it, but no such luck. Then again, on Balm of Gilead, the mystery is the magic.
— Chris Busby
The Red F plays a CD release show on Fri., Sept. 16, at SPACE Gallery. Hear more at theredf.bandcamp.com.