Folk Thief- Love, Heartache & Oblivion   Leave a comment

Folk Thief Love, Heartache & Oblivion

“In pools of blood the children play. The dead will line the streets today.” So opens Love, Heartache & Oblivion, the debut release from Vancouver’s Dave Hadgkiss. Something tells me we’re in for an interesting half-hour.

Performed by a straightforward, seemingly uncomplicated trio, the music contained on this word weighty album is light, springy, and even poppy. As in power-poppy. The depth of the lyrics doesn’t weigh-down the songs; rather, the instrumentation buoys the literate offerings.

Hadgkiss’ delivery is often rapid-fire, lyrics brimming with flavour springing forth like froth from an Orange Julius. Elsewhere, things are a bit more measured, even introspective- not uncomfortable, diary broody, but revealing and thoughtful.

“How long do we drag this out?” Hadgkiss and Clare Groganesque duet partner Kelly Haigh ask on “Broken Record,” concluding that “If this is love, I’ll go without.”

Hadgkiss has an unconventional voice, neither sweet nor gruff but genuinely stimulating; it contains some furtive, appealing element that makes one lean in and really listen to what is being conveyed. Always good, that.

As well, he doesn’t stick to a single vocal approach. At the conclusion of “The Death of Tomorrow,” opens Love, Heartache & Oblivion ‘s opening salvo, Hadgkiss wails Peter Gabriel –like , sharp contrast to his more natural voice. A falsetto is briefly explored within “After the Accident.” The mature troubadour takes voice in “From Beautiful to Damned,” while Hadgkiss’s melodic scream is presented on “The Devil Behind Me.” These explorations add texture to the recording, and are selective enough to be appreciated rather than questioned.

Beautifully recorded, the album has a clean, organic atmosphere and sound. In places, one can see the strings bending on the guitar as delicate sounding notes are picked and strummed.

This lovely little recording comes housed in a beautiful and even indulgent package. The trifold packaging opens to reveal detail of a lovely, finely grained guitar. The libretto continues the theme, presenting additional illustration alongside lyrics that, when read, provide their own revelations and mysteries.

When a singer takes on a ‘name,’ I’m sometimes hesitant to wander close. To me, there seems to be something a little dishonest, a bit deceitful about the practice. Then again, Fervor Coulee.

Don’t judge Folk Thief by a moniker some may consider pretentious.  Love, Heartache & Oblivion is a darn fine album, well worth purchasing.

And thanks to Laura, I have a copy of Love, Heartache & Oblivion to give away. Drop a comment or email me at fervorcoulee[at]shaw[dot]com; I’ll do a random drawing in a week or so. Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald


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