The Howlin Rain we thought we knew has evolved on MANSION SONGS into something strange and true and beautiful, a sound made of cigarette ash and swollen moons, salt air and the eggshell light that comes just before the dawn. The result is an album that pines and yearns, lusts and wails. “Meet Me in the Wheat,” “Big Red Moon” and “Wild Bush” push the album into high gear, up -tempo jammers that form the yang to the mellow yin of the album’s deep feel ballads. Tracks like “Restless” and “Lucy Fairchild” ache like raw wounds or sway like lost, half-sunken ships. “New Age” is bright and clear-eyed and full of wary joy. “Coliseum” prowls, red-veined and hungry – claws out and teeth sharp.