On Hazard of the Die, the followup to his 2011 debut, Sometime Around, Andy Palmer shows continued growth as a songwriter. The beginning of "The Monk," the eight-song disc's opener, is fairly tame, but strings, arranged here by Kailin Yong, gradually swell, making the song seem damn near epic at points. On "Heart of Colfax," Palmer, backed by his alt-folk act Grub Street Writer, captures the feel of Denver's infamous avenue with enough rasp in his gravelly vocal delivery to make Tom Waits proud. While Palmer can powerfully belt through a tune like the muscular "Good Son," he can also reel it in somewhat, as on the beginning of the poignant "Moreya," which also features harmonies from Jessica DeNicola.
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