The Family Recordings, 2019
Twelve songs, one for each month of the year, document the trajectory of a fraying relationship, from the optimism of “March” to dejection in “December”.
In addition to guitars, drum and bass there are strings, trumpet, piano, flutes and saxophone … fine musicians brilliantly arranged.
The gamut of instrumentation and narrative themes is introduced in “January” and the dynamic range is tested between and sometimes within songs, from an instrumental (“February”) to acoustic ballads and an anguished drum- and guitar-driven “November”.
The vocals, a little idiosyncratic, made me think of Jamie Hutchings with strings and woodwind. It’s all very moody, often with Dylanesque phrasing.
At one point he sings, “The way I feel there are no words” but actually he’s exceedingly eloquent.
2003 was released a few months ago but it’s well worth searching out.