The Holy Broke (Spokane, WA), ambiguous name for the growling solo work of Kent Ueland, encapsulates his dark, messy music and all its jagged shards. You won't find stained glass tributes to lost loves or idle words about a better life in his lyrics. No, Ueland is the busted and bitter. Equal parts the man sunken into his couch and the snarling boy smiling through his bleeding upper lip, the classic country riffs carry Ueland's vocals through a debauched journey into heartache. The relatable simplicity of struggling to pay rent, eat a decent meal, or even get out of bed give his songwriting a surprising power. There lies the ambiguity. Has something holy been broken? Is it a form of holiness to be broke? Is there no such thing as the concept, "holy," to begin with? Look for the forthcoming album Do It Yourself this winter, listen to it when you're down on your luck, listen to it to celebrate not being there, but most of all listen. An injured dog is howling.
- Nathaniel Orwiler