Apparently Hunter Dragon is the gift that keeps on giving. Hot off the heels of issuing How the Crow Flows Pt. 1, he's dropped the second part of a planned three-EP series, aptly titled How the Crow Flows Pt. 2. You can stream or download the six songs now on his website for free. Before you do so, though, you might want to get yourself in the right mindset, which you should be able to achieve by eating a bag of cookies and finding a good sunny spot to sit in.
It's not exactly clear what, if any, thread ties these three EPs together -- but musically they manage to have enough in common to be considered coherent. Part 2, feels a bit more lived-in than the first one, like it was recorded in a single take by a campfire over some beers. It also feels like Dragon is getting a bit more comfortable with his songwriting chops, meaning he's less apt to drift off into nowhere.
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There is a running theme in much of Dragon's discography of "blood," and that continues here, but nailing down what exactly that means is beyond us, especially on tracks like the exceptionally uplifting "Blood X7" and "Soak to Death." Both tracks manage to still sound left-field, but poppy at the same time. Dragon's acid-colored folk often ventures off into the desert in search of a spirit animal, but so far, this EP series has been grounded in a reality at least on the same plane as ours. It's still nowhere near sounding like traditional folk, but you can at least hear a hint of it now and again.
The recording itself often showcases a bit of a homely feel -- partially because most of Dragon's instruments aren't exactly the cream of the crop from a strictly mechanical viewpoint. But that back-alley scavenging is what adds to the experience of listening to Part 2 -- it doesn't feel produced; it sounds more like something recorded over a weekend with a crew of friends watching.
The last track, "Family Photo," is something of an absurd mash up of chanting and a music box. Not exactly the most listenable way to end your experience with the record, but an suitable means for Dragon to leave his mark. Either way, we're curious to see how this trilogy closes out.