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Album review: Gill Landry – Love Rides A Dark Horse

PUBLISHED: 10:03 31 October 2017

GILL LANDRY. Picture: Alysse Gafkjen

GILL LANDRY. Picture: Alysse Gafkjen

Archant

Landry exposes flimsy, Hollywood-driven expectations with a blues-infused treatise on real life and love

The second solo record for the double Grammy-winner (with his former roots band Old Crow Medicine Show) was inevitably informed by the collapse of his relationship with his ex-fiancée, half penned with only the cold wind and pounding rain of Washington’s North Pacific coast for company, the other half above a friend’s Nashville digs.

Characterising his approach as “purging hard times in song”, this is the essence of the blues but delivered in velvet gloves; a blend of country, folk and Americana thick with hushed intimacy and tattered narratives.

Flickers of rescue and redemption are cut with sombre reality checks in opener Denver Girls, the evocative fiddle set to a cantering pace. First Aid Kit’s Klara Soderberg is a suitably gentle foil for his warm baritone on the driving Berlin.

Elsewhere the pace, tone and lyrics are engagingly melancholic, from The Woman You Are’s bluesy harmonica solo to Scripted Love, dwelling on how we set ourselves up for failure in love, over soft trumpet and organ.

A well-rounded, contemplative meditation on modern lives.

Rating: 4/5

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