In a perfect world, the title of David Karsten Daniel's solo album wouldn't be Angles. Instead, it would be the singular Angle, a reflection not only of the months Daniels (of Chapel Hill space-rock trip, Go*Machine) spent locked away in his home writing and recording the material for this, his third, solo effort, but also of the singular, direct focus of the work, a melodramatic case study in how to get left behind by a woman who has dreams of her own and, more importantly, just how to survive her.
But, seconds into Angles, you get the intense feeling that the world isn't perfect. "'See you later,' you corrected/ Trying to put it into perspective/ Just to hide what it was," Daniels moans from somewhere inside of a barrel, keeping time with the dirge plodding in the background as a salvo of synthesized noise barges in on his forlorn nostalgia. "The goodbye, goodbye." Daniels spends the next eleven tracks reckoning with the demons stemming from a trans-continental flight and the unrequited, confused love that followed, leaning on his acoustic guitar, Jeff Tweedy and Connor Oberst for precedent and support. He nails Elliott Smith's sad-eyed swing with the accusatory "Note to Self" and tackles the Bright Eyes methodology of testimonial pursued by cathartic cacophony for the album's midsection. "I'm going to learn how to be an alcoholic/ Hard as I think that would be," he declares during "Alcohol," the fatalistic suicide glimpse in which he disavows food and sleep moments before the dawn of the next three numbers.
That resurrection begins with "Siamese Hearts," a wistful number that finds Daniels looking for a Midwest rendezvous point for him and his paramour. It ends with "Give up...and You Are Changed," a gorgeous, if tangled, anthem for the broken-hearted. "I can't do much more to fix this," Daniels demands time and again before relenting to a three-minute chorus of angels chanting "You Are Changed!" above an enormous pedal point. And so it ends, the album and the relationship, the latter prompting the former and the former--an especially vulnerable, extremely unsettled look at a man with little left to lose--eventually curing the latter.