Brian Bond

Fire & Gold

Written by: PP on 23/11/2009 21:40:28

"Fire & Gold", the new album by singer-songwriter Brian Bond, has been lying in my promo pile for way too many months, and the reason for that is simple. In almost any given week an active writer will find himself in a hectic work environment with all too little time for sitting down in peace to fully absorb an album such as this one. You just can't listen to acoustic singer-songwriter stuff in a busy train or while biking to work simply because it's too noisy for you to properly understand and hear the small intricacies and subtle details that are scattered all across "Fire & Gold". Yeah, it's the kind of album you'll need weeks of lonesome active listening to notice why Bond stands well above the average in the genre.

It's easy to make a mental note immediately that something pure, something great is lurking just beneath the simplistic instrumental surface. Whether you'll discover it or not depends heavily on your ability to tolerate and enjoy minimalistic music, because if you're looking for grand choruses and sticky verses, you're in the wrong place. Instead, Bond relies on emotional, soft singing and alluring electronica samples to support his acoustic guitar driven songs, and occasionally the combination clicks perfectly together. Just check out "Le Canadien" for an example, and pay attention to the rare glimpses of keyboard entering and leaving the small, DIY-type soundscape just at the right moments to provide a peaceful, almost heavenly mood to the song. In fact, if it wasn't for the quietly bright electronic bits and pieces, Bond's music could come across boring and run-of-the-mill in the genre - but luckily the extra layer of detail found in a song like "Astrology" assures the listener that's not the case at all.

"Fire & Gold" balances itself perfectly between the folk and the pop, not allowing either element to take over to avoid the cheesy indie-pop feel as well as the overly folksy atmosphere which is ultimately the pitfall of a large proportion of artists in the genre. In a way, you could draw a parallel to Copeland's slowest and most experimental material on their amazing final record "You Are My Sunshine" because of the similar ambiance and feel that Bond crafts on his record. But he does fall somewhat short of distinction, perhaps because at 48 minutes, the record is a tad bit too long for dreamy acoustic stuff to entertain the listener throughout.


Download: Le Canadien, Astrology
For the fans of: Copeland, Aaron Sprinkle, Jacob Faurholt
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.01.2009

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