A gothic Gram Parsons drowning in reverb and crooning romantic woe, George Cessna looks like an old cowboy ghost as he stands lonesome and lost on a Baltimore rooftop in the video for his track ‘Leave Me Alone’.
Under pink skies, overlooking the docks, he curses his fate and lets out an embittered, doomed ballad that is swamped in echoing guitar effects and chugging harmonica: “Well I knew that bad things were gonna happen/ Cos I saw them in my dreams each night/ And I heard that it was blowing in the wind dear/ But nothing ever turns out right.”
Evoking sounds ranging from The Handsome Family, Jim White and sparse, Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western soundtracks, to the maudlin, black-hearted humour of Nick Cave’s starkest periods, Cessna’s dreamy visions come with outsider snarl and a deep, isolated, hypnotic twang. It’s an eerie, barbed ode to heartbreak that twists rootsy Americana with horror movie atmospherics and could sound right at home in Jack White’s Third Man stable.
The son of alt-country, cult favourite Slim Cessna (Slim Cessna’s Auto Club), George’s world is a tear stained, whisky slugging hallucination of dusty Southern highways and rural, God-fearing roots that bites like a graveyard rattlesnake. Check out his bands Snakes and Sterling Sisters for more gothic hillbilly surf gloom.