With every record, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed, and Freedom is the project’s boldest leap yet. Enlisting a powerful set of collaborators that included Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, keyboardist Jordi Wheeler, Chris Coady (Beach House) as producer, and Delicate Steve on guitars, Freedom was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC and at Sunset Sound in L.A. All told it took three years to make.
On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colorful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.