David Bronson - The Long Lost (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
DAVID Bronson has already impressed once this year with his debut album Story, the first instalment of a deeply personal 22 track opus. He now completes the journey in brilliant fashion with the second half, The Long Lost.
Beginning with a young man’s loss of hope and identity following the end of first love, a project came to life to continue through the prolonged, arduous and life-changing journey to re-find them.
The result may sound possibly pretentious but the results are far from it. As with the songs on Story, the tracks here are meticulously thought out and emotionally resonant.
Hence, album opener The Lost opens in stripped back and tender fashion, before final offering Stay In Touch rounds things off with a furious, guitar-driven effort that genuinely exhilarates.
In between, there’s plenty to savour. October, for instance, is a beautifully bittersweet record that is shot through with great guitar and piano arrangements, as well as boy-girl vocals from Bronson and Maria Neckam. They compliment each other superbly.
Crooked Trails is another of the album’s stripped back offerings… with Bronson accompanied by some gentle acoustic guitar licks early on as he laments: “We’re trying hard to beat the outcome, walking crooked trails…”
Perhaps even more beautiful, though, is the equally sparse Incompetent Assassins, which finds Bronson in an even more broken down place emotionally (“come back you left a piece of me, I can’t tell if you meant to do it, I’m hanging tethered by a thread”), and more support vocals from Neckam.
Idols repeats the trick, In A Cave has an edge and a trippy quality that gets it noticed (with added wurlitzer and flutola), and Once When I Was God is a tender homage to loss of confidence that, again, demonstrates Bronson’s ability to deliver lyrics that both provoke thought and leave a lasting impression.
And then there’s that final song, Stay In Touch, which drops some absolutely cracking electric guitar solos and hard-hitting lines such as “I will take you down, I’ll rip your self regard to bits”.
It’s no small compliment to say that Bronson also draws favourable comparisons to classic artists such as Bowie, Pink Floyd, REM and The Beatles in some of his work. But he’s also a distinct artist in his own right and one of the most interesting artists to emerge from the New York scene in a while.
Download picks: Stay In Touch, October, Incompetent Assassins, Idols, In A Cave, Once When I Was God
Watch the video for Incompetent Assassin