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Black Car - Black Car


Review: Jack Foley

THE buzz surrounding Dan Glendinning's latest project, Black Car, has been building ever since the release of his Asleep at the Wheel EP.

Having gone quiet since the break-up of his previous band, Headswim, Glendinning opted to lay low, penning the tracks that made up the aforementioned EP at his East End home, purely for personal pleasure.

Thank God, then, that someone persuaded him to release them to the public. The quality contained within those three tracks is apparent throughout the album, which marks an accomplished and exciting debut from another cracking UK singer/songwriter.

Enlisting the support of his brother, on drums, Glendinning put together the album, Black Car, in his own time, and away from the pressures of working for a big studio (he is signed to the independent label, Altered States).

Hence, Glendinning was able to take the time he needed to explore the themes he wanted to; those of love, loss, hope and despair - and the mixture of emotions is fully realised in the songs which have resulted.

The album begins with the former single, Asleep at the Wheel, which opens with a simple, but oh-so effective guitar riff, before building towards its rock out finale.

From there on, the album takes a deeply personal journey through all that Glendinning holds dear, as well as tipping its hat to several musical inspirations - with Radiohead and Travis to the fore.

Tracks such as She Makes Me Smile, in which he pleads with a lover to 'stay with me tonight' are beguiling in their sweet simplicity, as is Promises, which takes a little while to get going, but eventually turns into a haunting, somewhat melancholy, record about keeping promises, in which Glendinning's gentle vocals possess a yearning, heartfelt quality which makes the song all the more memorable.

Yet anyone thinking that this is all about slow-builders, or tortuous, self-searching lyrics, would be wrong; for Glendinning mixes things up with some rockier, feelgood numbers that keep the album from being pigeonholed in one category.

The final track, Roadtrip, for example, effortlessly evokes memories of a sun-drenched coastal highway, with its dreamy lyrics, and gentle piano keys; while the catchy 100% Proof finds Glendinning in far more excitable mode, announcing that he 'doesn't give a fuck if it rains' and obviously in love.

Likewise, the feelgood Count Them On One Hand, which begins slowly, before giving way into a truly great pop-rock combination that could quite easily become another single, or Shadows, with its Travis-inspired guitars.

The beauty of Black Car lies in the way that Glendinning expertly blends some beautiful melodies with some truly fragile lyrics, making the album one which continues to give more with each listen.

Track listing:
1. Asleep At The Wheel
2. Come on Home
3. 100% proof
4. You’ll Be The End
5. Count Them On One Hand
6. St John
7. Shadows
8. She Makes Me Smile
9. Promises
10. Road Trip

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