Preacher’s Daughter

Preacher’s Daughter

On her expansive debut album, singer/songwriter/producer Hayden Silas Anhedönia introduces her alter ego Ethel Cain, a Southern anti-belle desperate to escape the smothering grip of familial trauma, Christianity, and the American dream. On Preacher’s Daughter, the Florida-reared conceptualist and recovered Southern Baptist finds a sense of freedom in darkness and depravity, spinning a seedy, sweeping, slowcore yarn of doomed love and patriarchal oppression with cinematic ambition. Cain allows the titular preacher the first word on droning opener “Family Tree (Intro),” then teases a little pop-star charm on the twangy “American Teenager,” before digging her teeth deep into sex, drugs, violence, and rock ‘n’ roll with the provocative pout of Lana Del Rey. She laments a lost love on the heartland heartbreaker “A House In Nebraska,” hitchhikes west on the sprawling Americana saga “Thoroughfare,” and spirals into Dante’s hell on the thunderous industrial nightmare “Ptolemaea.” Cain’s voice haunts and lingers like a heavy fog, long after she’s devoured by a cannibalistic lover—in a blaze of glam-metal guitar—on the album’s grandiose finale, “Strangers.”

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