King Cardinal – Once a Giant

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4 stars out of 5

Once a Giant, King Cardinal’s follow-up to the self-titled debut EP, sees Brennan Mackey transform from solo singer-songwriter to confident and earnest frontman of a four-piece outfit.

The addition of the pedal-steel, bass and subtle percussion completes a full-hearted sound throughout the album, portraying a familiar authenticity as Mackey laments his bitterness and

praises his redemption. Where Once a Giant distinguishes itself from the slew of acoustic Americana projects, however, comes in “Standing Down.” The 28-minute track is at times

hauntingly eerie, at others elegant and blissful. The six-song EP is well-accompanied with winter, so give it a good wood-cabin listen and be on the watch for King Cardinal in the

mountains this winter.