Higgins, Dereck – Dereck 2

Dereck Higgins from Omaha may not be an overly familiar name. But you can call him a veteran in alternative music, having been a member of various interesting bands. The most noteworthy is probably indie band Digital Sex, which even released an album on the legendary French record label Sordide Sentimentale. Furthermore he played in a new wave act called Norman & the Rockwells and a punk band called RAF, but was also involved in reggae, jazz, zydeco and what more. With his various acts he was a support act for artists ranging from REM to the Dead Kennedys to Weird Al Yankovic. He also played live with Joseph Budenholzer of Backworld and Mark Burgess of The Chameleons.

I found this history too interesting to refrain from mentioning it. Off to the music then. “Dereck 2” contain 18 ‘honest and personal songs’ recorded at his home. The album has a clear spiritual character. Higgins’ alternative past becomes not directly clear from listening to the music, which is rather soft and soothing, though moody. He plays guitar, bass and keyboards and is aided by a couple of guest musicians. Smooth ambient electronic melodies form the base of most songs, with ethereal guitars creating nice textures. There are some psychedelic and prog/krautrock influences audible, as well as ethereal wave elements. I don’t think Dereck is a brilliant singer, but he sings with enough feeling to compensate for that. A sympathatic album, which will probably be too poppy and accessible for most readers of this webzine.

artist: Higgins, Dereck
label: DVH Recordings
details: 11 tracks, 2004 [DVH-2]