Gavin Glass – Sunday Songs – Review
No stranger to stages and studios throughout the country, singer-songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, and radio-presenter, Gavin Glass, returns with his fourth album, Sunday Songs, a mellow, alt-country offering forged in the heart of Dublin.
Whirling organ gives way to a subdued beat, drums and bass softly swinging, accompanied by acoustic guitar and pedal steel singing for the album’s eponymous opening track. Softly spoken lyrics lazily delivered speak of the lonely early morning after the raucous late night before, a wryly optimistic sentiment, ‘we’ll keep rolling on, singing Sunday songs’, as glorious strings sing at the climax.
‘Better Left Alone’ begins with finger picking acoustic guitar, its tone captured beautifully, vocals and light piano accompanied by a low floor tom bouncing, roll towards a lonely chorus, the lyrics longing for a lost love. Glass’s skill as a producer is evident; strong structure, subtle percussion and strings populate the piece pleasingly.
The crunchy bass and subdued swagger of ‘Light Hearts’ breaks briefly from the alt-country aesthetic, sounding shades of The Frames, it ends with a flurry of drums and guitars and hits hard into a raucous outro, whilst the soft, percussive drums, brushes on snare, propel ‘First Stone’ from its twangy acoustic intro into a cracking crescendo with crisp chorus vocals glistening.
‘Good Fortune’ assumes the Americana aesthetic amicably and is pieced together properly, but although suitably produced, lacks a certain something, perhaps suffering from a loose lyrical focus, whilst piano ballad ‘Silhouettes’, with its steady dynamic build, seems a little long in the overall context of the record.
Lyrically, many of the songs take a reflective stance on relationships and human encounters, the transience of our connection with others, dealing with the scars of Saturday night’s mystery reverberating in our memory, coupled with the ill feeling toward the onset of the week ahead, viewed through the unique prism of an uneasy Sunday mind frame. It makes for a suitably subdued set of serene songs.
With a foot tapping softly in the background, piano and acoustic guitar floating gently on, an urgency underlying the vocal, ‘New Lover’s Arms’ calls the album to an uneasy end, in parallel with that sullen Sunday feeling, apprehensive about starting again, a little unsettling, the uncertainty.
Sunday Songs is available on the 22nd of May.
Review by Andy Guyett