Following the albums Gin and My Ass recorded with The Wave Pictures in un-gentrified East London, Stanley Brinks (aka André Herman Dune) returns with a new collaborative album, this time with the Norwegian folk collective The Kaniks as his backing band. Eschewing a traditional recording studio, André took The Kaniks to a remote island outside the small town of Egersund in south west Norway. Over the course of week of midnight sun, midnight swims and midnight beers on their isolated rocky island, living and recording in the only building on the island, the (now un-manned) mid 19th century Vibberodden lighthouse, Stanley Brinks and The Kaniks recorded three albums of material; Turtle Dove is the first of those three to be released. Brinks is renowned for his unique antifolk style: both playful and suggestive, insightful and entertaining. His fondness for calypso and the unusual provide the perfect foil to The Kaniks’, whose folk instrumentation and country and bluegrass influences take these 12 songs to a joyous place Brinks hasn’t been before in his extensive back catalogue.
Stanley Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne. Several albums and Peel sessions later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.
"The master storyteller, the anti-folk, anti-king of European calypso has cut a wonderful disc of songs about drinking and songs about losing love and the late night malady in front of the dying embers of the night fire. This is a magical double album" NARC [4/5]
"Pan European folk whimsy from Andre Herman Dune... these 26 songs sound like ancient folk shanties, but the wry lyrics ("I give all my money to Jim Beam and John Player/But I keep my good loving for you") remind you these are thoroughly 21st century consturctions" Uncut [7/10]
"a gloriously trip into a long lost backwoods and backwaters USA. The songs are all new but ridiculously evocative of a time when a studio consisted of nothing but more than a room with a tape recorder in. Lovely."
Hi-Fi News [92/100]
"ooze a kind of infectious convivial bonhomie that immediately put you at ease, constantly referencing social situations, friends getting together and drinking and the love songs are everyday tales told from the perspective of a courtly lover, a man full of respect for his audience, his peers and the objects of his desire. It’s almost impossible to keep us with his discography and if you’ve dabbled and desisted, this is a good time to get back on board." Americana UK [7/10]
"immaculately played, unpolished and, for the most, jubilant in spirit and mood, it’s a gem of its kind." Folk Radio
"The songs are the typical Herman Dune fair in being easi-follow singalongs that even an idiot like me could holler along to. He basks in the sort of choruses that will have pubs of followers singing along and having a good time but oversteps the mark a bit on the otherwise enjoyable opener 'Ten In the Morning' where he begins to yodel. Otherwise this is enjoyably old timey campfire singalongs that I'm sure would sound rather good in an old style pub with a roaring fire and Stan and pals in the corner belting them out until way after closing time." Norman Records
"a breezy anti-folk style and a tongue in cheek humor. Here, one could also define the genre as a cross between calypso and cajun. As ever, the stress is firmly on the sweet over the bitter when it comes to loves lost or found." Whisper and Hollerin [7/10]
"Brinks’ playful mode of storytelling creates entrancing lyrics while the duo of a fiddle and banjo strips folk music back, resulting in an exciting album with a cohesive sense of identity"
"filled with the European calypso sounds he's made his own with a generous helping of bluegrass throughout. It's laid back, like long summer days down by the river, and filled with stories about booze, life on the road, love and heartache" Buzz [3/5]
"two and a half minutes of tales of drinking, smoking and heartbreak" The Mad Mackerel
"this album from Stanley Brinks is a cut above, with a wryness, honesty and acerbity to its lyrics, and some old time American grit to the music"
"heady mix of banjo, fiddle, penny whistle and tongue-in-cheek vocals is weird - but wonderful"
"a typically idiosyncratic offering; the lo-fi recording of the banjo takes you ear back to the early days of vaudevillian recordings, while the lyrics touch on the cab decorating choices of bus drivers, loves ability to overcome shyness and the dangers of not getting someone’s address; all in just over two minutes"
For The Rabbits
"somehow I’m reminded of our recent Nobel laureate Bob Dylan. It’s the nasality of Brinks’ voice, the flowing rhythm of the lyrics, the methods of the singer-songwriter. And you know how Dylan’s harmonica sometimes works on your nerves, even though without it Blonde On Blonde would never have been as good? Well, the fiddle solo’s on ‘Monique’ have a similar kind of effect." Beautiful Freaks
"Turtle Dove is a welcome addition to Stanley Brinks’ back catalogue; he’s one of the most imaginative and accomplished songwriters around today with an unerring instinct for creating atmospheric and engaging albums. Along with his collaborators, The Kaniks, Stanley Brinks has made yet another glorious album which celebrates the individuality of us all at the same time as it reminds us we’re not all that different, really, under the skin. I can see it becoming an indispensable part of my summer soundtrack and am very much looking forward to hearing the other two albums in this trilogy of Nordic antifolk. Great stuff!" Folk Radio
"For his third album Stanley Brinks (aka André Herman Dune) got together with Norwegian folk collective, The Kaniks, on a remote island off Norway to record this album, which, as you can probably imagine, isn’t informed by the sweaty rhythms of dancehall. Instead we get strummy acoustic stuff, touched by Brinks’ fondness for calypso and other unusual body swerves, with The Kaninks’ folky bluegrass and country influences. You can’t really argue with it, so I’m not going to." The Crack
"The songs reaffirm the artist's belief that death defying love burns brightest after a few drinks. To this end, booze, birds and bees combine for what amounts to a series of saucy sea shanties designed to be sung on dry land (they were recorded in an un-manned lighthouse in south west Norway). "I'm going to do as I please" Brinks announces on the joyful Come Come Springtime. As if you ever doubted it for a minute!"
Whisperin and Hollerin
"Also sometimes known as Herman Dune, Paris-born Brinks, now resident in Berlin, has joined forces with the Norwegian folk collective for an album that embraces both his love of calypso and, by way of complete musical contrast, numbers that summon up thoughts of Jewish or Balkan funeral dirges." Fatea
"You can’t go wrong with this encouraging sense of optimism that pervades the song list, backed by the variety of genres: drinking songs, bluegrass, love songs, polkas, calypso. “And the Violin” is a good example of this positive nature... A worthy addition to any music collection that opines inventive and memorable music." Americana UK
"The instrumentals lurch and reel, but the sparkling moments also hark back to former musical glories. Stronger Than Wine and The Violin are catchy with memorable choruses and twinkle-in the eye lyrics. The slow rhythmic stutter of Between Me And The Future shows off the collision of styles to best effect. Norwegian left field doesn’t come better." York Press