Some folk albums come at us like a Roman candle, bouncing through tracks of different shades and various trajectories, illuminating briefly and finally fading out. Others, however, approach like a slow-motion silhouette—back-lit, mysterious and menacing (and headed right for us). While I quite enjoy passing through both extremes as a listener, I fear the latter feels far more fitting these days. Through the storm of our world’s repeated tragedies, rising threats, and scattered anxieties comes Curtis McMurtry’s new album, Toothless Messiah. It’s somehow at once a thunderclap(!) and a hushed, rising flood, flushing out the ugly truths about power and human nature, forcing us to gaze down into the pooled waters at our own reflection. We were lucky enough to catch tht Texas-based troubadour for a phone interview on High Plains Morning, where we peered into the nuanced composition of this work. (And hey, it got pretty heavy.) The new album comes out February 5th, but it’s available for pre-order on his Bandcamp site. You can check out Curtis’s other albums and performances on his website and Instagram. Hear our full interview about Toothless Messiah on the link below.