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Dietrich Strause recorded his first two albums on a shoestring budget in his hometown of Lancaster, Penn. They were agreeable pieces of neo-folk, but felt like a warm-up for the young singer-songwriter still tinkering with his style. Strause’s latest effort, “Little Stones to Break the Giant’s Heart,” out Oct. 22, is technically his third, but, says the 26-year-old, “I sort of feel like this is my first actual album.”
This is due in large part to the bigger budget provided by a successful Kickstarter campaign and guidance from producer Austin Nevins, a Somerville-based guitarist whose main gig is with Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band. “Little Stones to Break the Giant’s Heart” features a cast of Boston musicians and is tasteful almost to a fault, with Strause’s reedy, ageless voice coming through clear over the warble of finger-picked guitar and a delicate bass drum heartbeat.
Strause, who has lived in Boston since 2008, eschews cheesy hooks and obvious showmanship, preferring to let his songs stand on their own. “Little Stones to Break the Giant’s Heart” reveals his knack for vivid, almost literary lyricism inflected by myth and metaphor. The songs boast a virtuosic command of imagery and wordplay, and are crafted with a gentle, confident care that Strause has honed for years.
“At a certain point, it’s almost like I can see the song as a whole already, and it’s a matter of brushing away the dust, almost like finding a dinosaur or something,” he says. “It’s a matter of patience and time, not to hack away at it or chip at it and potentially destroy something that could be there that’s beautiful.”
This article was originally published on October 18, 2013.
This program aired on October 18, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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