Amigo the Devil shows talent in twisted genre of ‘murder folk’

Nick Veintimilla

Cover of Amigo the Devil’s new album, “Everything is Fine”

What I find interesting is when an artist takes a popular genre and twists it into their own unique spin, marking it with their personal signature that few dare to imitate.

 Amigo the Devil, born Danny Kiranos, has pulled this off multiple times in the past in ways that few other artists of his standing manage. His newest album, “Everything is Fine,” is no exception.

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 His most popular songs in the past have been “Hell and You” and “Perfect Wife,” dark songs about love and spousal abuse painted over with a thick coating of gallows humor. Many of his songs are based on true crimes committed by serial killers, and some have compared his banjo tune and raspy voice to a niche genre referred to as “murder folk.” This offshoot of bluegrass-style country music carries darker themes associated with violence, drug abuse, and mental illness.

Everything is Fine” opens strong with the heartbreaking song, “Cocaine and Abel.” Despite the song’s title, the subject of the tune is not drug abuse but a feeling of true human regret that many can relate to. While I believe the album’s opener is its strongest component, I think the rest of the album holds up almost equally well, save for a few that didn’t live up to personal preferences.

 “If I’m Crazy” and “The Liars Club” both have a strong power that reveals the most in their drum tracks, while managing to keep up a fun sense of melody.

The album also remasters several of Kiranos’ old classics with slight modifications, such as “The Dreamer,” a beautiful and emotional song about two lovers nearing the end of their lives. Ballads are not the only thing that relies on carefully building up towards grand crescendos or the elegant tunes of a violin kicking in at the height of a song’s story.

Overall, the 50-minute album has a couple tracks that stand out for the wrong reasons, but many more that stand out for the right ones.

 Nick Veintimilla can be reached @entertainment@collegian.com.