Depressive episodes often inspire some of the best art. It’s a tale as old as time, but ask any artist and most—if not all—would probably agree that they’d rather not have to suffer any bouts of depression in order to be inspired. It’s not that one can’t produce great art without suffering. It’s just that, when you’re in that state of mind, clinging to an artistic idea is often the thing that pulls you out of it.
The Hunted Hare, the new solo project from composer and multi-instrumentalist Dennis Kane, is a kind of testament to that idea. Through stark, minimal compositions, Kane’s new album Nothing Is Always “is a kind of travelogue [through] a particularly insidious depression I experienced in 2016,” Kane tells City Paper. “I wanted the music to be stark and honest, which in most cases means it was performed using a looper and solo guitar.”
Indeed, on the minimal, neo-classical track “Mild Horses” and its accompanying music video, Kane’s guitar disguises itself as a cello, producing a gothic, haunting tone. “The themes are very simple, and I wanted them to sound like a voice, or sometimes a string instrument like a violin or a cello,” Kane says. “Likewise, the accompaniment is minimal. I was looking for a very melancholy feel throughout the album, but different ways to express that feeling.”