Chicago’s Willis Earl Beal is wasting no time in releasing the follow-up to his 2012 debut LP Acousmatic Sorcery, already releasing two singles from Nobody knows., his sophomore set. His latest single, “Too Dry To Cry,” is one of the better songs Beal has ever released, largely forgoing to bedroom demeanor of his first album.
Over a rambling, graveyard stomp that recalls Johnny Cash’s late-career work with Rick Rubin, Beal delivers his finest vocal performance yet. He’s seen here at his most defiant and soulful, delivering the lines with a fervor that works well with his ominously twangy guitar work. That sense of impending dread allows for his song-ending plea of “don’t leave me hangin'” to take on another, much more devastating tone.
Nobody knows. is out via XL Recordings on 10 September.