Byorn Gold is a man with a plan. When it comes to releasing albums, his approach is a clever one and sees him drip-feeding his music out as a series of EPs over several weeks before finally collating all of the music together into one full-length album. From a promotional point of view, it is innovative as it means that his presence as an artist is never too far away. For the listener, it gives us a taste of what to expect from the entire album. As an artist, he covers all bases, able to release his music in all forms and formats, from the lead single to the EP sampler to the full album. It worked well with his last album, Hindsight 20-20, and he has just begun the process again for the latest album Eastern Time, of which this, Beginning, is the first musical chapter.
This four-track salvo kicks off with Coming Home, a song that immediately gets down to business and displays his wide-ranging influences and inspirations. If it is a groove you are looking for, you have come to the right place. What is so clever about Coming Home is that the top-end vocals and immediate melodies are laid-back. Still, these dance contrastingly over a gloriously busy backbeat that sets down a funky, latin-esque rhythm, all tumbling beats and sparing, soulful guitars—the perfect way to kick an album off.
Share It and Grow is no less funky but creates its groove in a more spacious fashion, on the one hand often dropping down to merely bass line and beat, at the other, a full-on chorus of mass harmony vocals and full band musical weight. But how he moves from one to the other is great to observe and contemplate, gradually wrapping the song with additional tone and texture, building energy and anticipation until the song explodes in sonic celebration.
Byorn Gold’s music is always brimming with positivity, encouraging personal growth and promoting harmony, love and empathy. I Want Peace is the song where he comes out in no uncertain terms and plants his flag for peace. It is a gentle, acoustic-driven sound, swathed in sensual sax and lilting rhythms, but the lyrics are the focal point. A general rallying call for peace but also an acknowledgement of the frustrations that we all feel. We see the world crashing and burning before our eyes and struggle to understand why the powers that be, the people we choose to represent us seem complicit in the act. What can we do to turn the tide? Is writing a song enough to evoke change? Is such a creatively rebellious act at least the start of a mass movement, a shift in attitude? A peaceful protest? Perhaps it is. Let’s hope so.
Harmony sees us out, another track that plays with those glorious Latin rhythms which ushered the EP in. The combination of the sassy sax and warm grooves immediately carry the listener to a small cantina in southern California or a dance hall in Havana as the sun goes down, or even a Spanish beach bar…anywhere but the cold chill of the English winter from which I am writing this. That is how transportive music can be. That is how transportive music should be.
So does the plan work? Does teasing the audience and testing the sonic waters achieve its aim? I’ll say! As soon as the final notes of Harmony fade out, I’m already looking forward to the next instalment. That may be a little way off yet, but at least I have the four tracks that make up Beginning to replay until then. And replay them I will…a lot!
The singles that constitute Beginning, the first musical chapter of Eastern Time will be released between now and March. The second instalment, which will be titled Being, will follow between April and June.