Alternative Americana star Amigo the Devil (aka Danny Kiranos) has released a brand new single entitled ‘Cannibal Within’ today. It is taken from his third studio album, ‘Yours Until The War Is Over’, which is set for release in February 2024.
Self-produced and recorded in a backwoods bar-turned-studio, the banjo-driven ‘Cannibal Within’ is a song of honesty without pity and a lyrically profound insight into the depths of the human experience, albeit one with ATD’s renowned darkly humorous wordplay in plain sight. Experimental percussion – the repetitive dropping of a pick, tinking of a bottle and clacking of toy teeth – immerse the listener within an internal dialogue of self-doubt and insecurity.
All the parts we hate start adding up
Until we find ourselves with more regret than blood
The moment we can’t recognise the person inside our skin
We’re losing the fight, eaten alive by the cannibal within
“There’s a tiny little cannibal inside us all and it feeds on our insecurities,” states Kiranos. “The more it feeds on doubt, jealousy and self devaluation, the bigger it grows until it becomes bigger than we ourselves are. And then we’re left with nothing. We lose the war.”
Described by Kiranos as “a bridge between the old and the new,” Cannibal Within’ is indeed a perfect choice of track to link ATD’s recent past with his immediate future, which includes the forthcoming release of ‘Yours Until The War Is Over’, a collection of 13 songs that weaves together themes of relatable self-destruction and trauma bonding with arresting authenticity. Littered with obscure literary references – Kiranos is an avid reader – the album serves as his most singular work to date.
Also proving once and for all that ATD doesn’t only belong in some sort of true crime niche, ‘Yours Until The War Is Over’ is truly a songwriter’s record. Further expanding his understanding of more usually avoided aspects of humanity, these are songs of fascinating insight that also happen to crack jokes at the most unexpected moments.
The album title is a reference to the love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his nurse Agnes von Kurowsky in the closing months of World War I, a (trauma) bond that developed after the future novelist was severely wounded in Italy just after becoming a Red Cross volunteer at the age of 18. She would sometimes write ‘Yours until the war is over’ at the end of her letters to him, a sign-off that proved prophetic, her ultimate rejection devastating and scarring him.
As with the likes of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen – perhaps his biggest influences – ATD embodies the truest form of an artist on this new work. Inspired by a mantra adopted from unexpected late-night advice, he doesn’t have to ‘be the story to tell the story.’ Songwriting doesn’t always have to be linear, or biographical. Rather, ‘Yours Until The War Is Over’ is all heart with no boundaries. Created as a set of handwritten desires, Kiranos’ new songs thread together stories of using relationships for survival, whether by addiction, doubt, death or narcissism.
The release of ‘Cannibal Within’ follows a successful summer 2023 European tour to promote ‘Born Against’, ATD’s darkly romantic and hauntingly melodic 2021 album that earned critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, including UK publications such as Classic Rock, Shindig!, Blues Matters, RNR and Louder Than War. Folk Radio UK neatly summed up everyone else’s thoughts in stating that “it reinforces the adage that the devil truly does have all the best tunes.”
ATD is about to commence a month-long US tour that concludes with an epic finale at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for a sold-out, immersive concert weekend in mid-November featuring nightly performances by ATD and guest musical and visual artists, late-night bar room sets, a writer’s round and more at the historic, haunting hotel. A European tour to promote the new album is planned for 2024.