Gill Landry – Love Rides A Dark Horse (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Gill Landry – Love Rides A Dark Horse (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 40:50 minutes | 401 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © LOOSE

Gill Landry’s “Love Rides A Dark Horse” follows his critically acclaimed self-titled 2015 album. Rolling Stone raved that the record landed at “the four-way intersection between Dylan-inspired folk-rock, atmospheric Americana, dusty cowboy songs and street busker ballads,” while American Songwriter hailed it saying “these songs, and especially Landry’s honest performance, resonate long after the last note fades. They beckon you back to further absorb his heartfelt, occasionally comforting, musings on the trials and tribulations of romance-gone-sour. This album breaks new ground for Landry with contributions from fiddler Ross Holmes (Mumford & Sons, Bruce Hornsby), keyboard player Skylar Wilson (Andrew Combs, Rayland Baxter), and drummer Logan Matheny (Roman Candle, Rosebuds), the songs explore a more seductive, stripped-down sound built upon a hushed sense of intimacy that calls to mind Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. The album’s tattered narratives cast aside romanticism in favour of reality.

Mercurial Americana troubadour Gill Landry follows 2015’s excellent eponymous effort with Love Rides a Dark Horse, a brooding nine-song set that, on the surface at least, is as down and out as anything he’s released so far. Largely written during a lengthy solo tour in the aftermath of a failed relationship, Dark Horse has all the hallmarks of a breakup album, yet the singer also describes it as a “map out of the darkness.” A lifelong rambler with a history of busking around the country, Landry’s involvement as a member of Old Crow Medicine Show brought him to a handful of roots music zeniths, including induction into the Grand Ole Opry and a Grammy Award. Still, he retained his lone-wolf image during his tenure with the band, releasing solo albums that mixed elements of Dylanesque folk balladry with Tom Waits’ grizzled darkness and Leonard Cohen’s solitary poeticism. The more straightforward tone of Landry’s previous outing continues here, to a degree, as he sifts through the emotional wreckage on the bittersweet “Broken Hearts & Things We’ll Never Know” and the lyrically haunted yet soaring centerpiece, “The One Who Won the War.” Given the nature of the subject matter, the tempos are slow and the tone is expectedly maudlin, but it’s a bailiwick Landry always felt comfortable in, and his weary baritone is as soothing as it is desolate. Having previously shed some of the lonesome drifter persona that marked his earlier work, he returns to the condition from a more honest and authentic place, turning in a dark gem.

01 – Denver Girls
02 – Bird in a Cage
03 – Berlin
04 – Broken Hearts and Things We’ll Never Know
05 – The One Who Won the War
06 – The Only Game in Town
07 – Scripted Love
08 – The Woman You Are
09 – The Real Deal Died