A1 Gert Flirts with Dirt Shirt Bert
A2 A Million Margarets
B1 Soul out of Shell
B2 Scratch Not Now
Since the 1987 release of Pseudo Erotica, David E Williams has steadily released a series of maverick albums and singles, linked to the neo folk scene but always working strictly within his own territory. His last work was the excellent album Every Missing Duck Is A Duck Missed, humorous dark tales were partly replaced by raw emotion songs of loss and despair; the Duck became a Swan. This album effectively shoved the persona of David E. Williams away from being a talented teller of twisted tales to a great artist. I can no longer look back at his discography in the same way, new things I initially missed now turn up with every listen.
Instead of Williams, keyboard and Jerome Deppe with different musicians here and there; we now have a full band that has drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocals and violin. This gives an entire new approach to DEW juggling the new found emotional depth with the humor of old. There are little nods to the depth of Every Duck hidden inside new tales in what at first deceptively appears to be a lighter thematic approach. Jerome Deppe’s guitar work is of notable quality feeding back into dirty washes throughout Gert Flirts with Dirt Shirt Bert. A Million Margarets is where the band really flexes its musical muscle more, with excellent shifts in tempo. Soul out of Shell musically references the Williams of old through the band working as a strong cohesive unit with excellent lyrics.
Overall the Ensemble Project works beautifully as a whole unit, it would be exciting to see how the band approach works for a whole album. This EP isn’t as immediate as previous DEW releases; it takes a few listens to really grab you because it is nowhere near as stripped down as the DEW of before. However once it takes hold, this new approach opens up a new and fascinating side to the work of David E. Williams.