Evangelist – Gavin Clark and Toydrum (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

evangelistThere is an added weight to the dark beauty of this record, a resonance that makes the music more compelling, more poignant, more reflective. That weight is the death of Gavin Clark earlier this year making Evangelist a legacy, a final entry in the musical diary, a last point of contact with this mercurial artist. Pablo Clements and James Griffith were determined to complete this album after Clarkes unexpected passing which is quite fittingly loosely based on his life.

 

It is a dark and brooding, autobiographical tale heighted in the telling and encompassing his thoughts on the church, not the bricks and mortar physicality but its personal meaning, its place in everyday life and the darkest corners of society. Musically it wanders a desolate landscape, projects his thoughts and musings and exists were sin meets redemption, were hopelessness meets possibility, where the dark meets the light. It has its heart in altruism and the kindness of strangers, in reaching out to the lost and lonely and never has music sounded so bleak yet beautiful, so lost yet universal.

 

 

I’m sure if Clark knew this was the final album he was going to make it would be vastly different, probably too designed with that in mind, so here in the shock of his departure, in the unknowing and the collaboration with those who knew him best is the perfect legacy.

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