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Grey Reverend – Of The Days

Grey Reverend, Of The Days

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

GREY Reverend – aka Brooklyn-based musician LD Brown – is the latest artist to be championed by Jason Swinscoe’s Motion Audio imprint and will be well-known to followers of The Cinematic Orchestra as one-time member and regular support act.

His debut album is the culmination of a four-year friendship with Swinscoe that finds Brown performing his songs primarily as a soloist, using acoustic guitar and voice to convey his music.

The result is a simple but effective collection of timeless songs that are delivered in true troubadour fashion, provoking inevitable comparisons with the likes of Nick Drake, Fink and Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

If anything, the songs here are even more low-key and folksy, with Brown offering nothing more than a soothing voice to accompany his often heartfelt lyrics.

The template is set from the beginning with Altruistic Holiday, a disarming mix of folk, slightly husky vocals and astute observations that washes over you in serene, satisfying fashion.

If the songs that follow subscribe to an exact formula, then Brown still imbues them with some wonderful guitar arrangements and a nice line in story-telling.

Walk The Same, for instance, has a pronounced and fairly addictive central riff, while the Fink-meets-Jose Gonzalez One By One ups the tempo slightly and delivers a brooding classic in its own right.

The instrumental Little Eli, on the other hand, displays a breezier disposition and boasts some really appealing guitar plucking, which is cleverly interwoven to work well in its own right, while Box is a laidback gem that recalls Sunday’s of getting lost and wrapped up in old photographs.

If anything, Brown’s approach eschews time and place… and his songs sit comfortably in any song-writing era such is their subtle simplicity and classic values.

Hence, while his album won’t be to everyone’s taste and certainly may have benefited from a little more ambition at times (some songs are a little too restrained), it’s still a fine introduction to an artist we look forward to hearing a lot more from.

Download picks: One By One, Little Eli, Altruistic Holiday, Box

Track listing:

  1. Altruistic Holiday
  2. Walk The Same
  3. One by One
  4. Forsake
  5. Little Eli
  6. Little Mockingbirds
  7. Box
  8. Begging To Borrow
  9. Road Less Traveled