‘Grey Reverend’ is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist L.D. Brown. The first full length ‘Grey Reverend’ release was 2011s ‘Of the Days’ and focused on subtle folk guitar and vocal arrangements. This represented a departure of sorts from Mr Brown’s previous work playing jazz and blues and as a contributor to Jason Swinscoe’s ensemble ‘The Cinematic Orchestra’.
This summer ‘Grey Reverend’ release the 4 track ‘Everlasting’ before following in September with the full length ‘A Hero’s Lie’.
Title track ‘Everlasting’ is a near perfect balancing act. Mr Brown’s voice is melodic and smooth as silk; the picked guitar – reminiscent of those early Leonard Cohen musical poems – carries a counter melody and gives gentle go-forward motion.
In ‘Lament’ (perhaps unsurprisingly) resignation and loss are to the fore, the musical phrasing cleverly complements the lyrics. Like the heart broken protagonist it seems to need to take deep breaths. “Falling let me go, someone, take me home” sings Mr Brown, finally admitting“… when all I want is you”.
Next, in ‘Nightingale’, an upbeat tempo belies a caustic lyrical edge – a “Nightingale stuck in a swansong” – then in the literal swansong, ‘When You’re A Rose’, the range of instrumentation is broadened. Piano and layers of guitar combine in a beautifully crafted piece of folk pop. A cheeky coda signs off 15 blissful minutes.
Available on Ninja Tunes.
Categories: Album Reviews