Garnet Dusk –  Claudio Conti (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Claudio_Conti_-_Garnet_Dusk_(cover)Instead of reaching for meaningless industry jargon, labels such as alt-folk, anti-folk or the strangest of them all post-folk, Garnet Dusk could be better described as “what folk did next.” For folk is certainly what is being channelled here but it does so using an indie and occasionally even pop conduit and it seems unaware of time or fashion and works at its own pace. There is something remarkably unshowy, something intrinsically clever and something cleverly poetic roted in the DNA of the album as it slides gently from the more traditional folkiness of opener Autumn Song to the Morrisey-esque chamber pop of I Never Saw Her Again to the slightly fey Postcard Records indie of Yeasty March.

But the real charm of the record is the restraint of the music itself. Indeed where many would underline their point with musical bombast and forced crescendo, more often that not Conti prefers to underplay the hand and the record is all the better for it, light and life affirming above all. Blazing Lair has a wonderful play with dynamics, opening with a Mariarchi blast and switching between beat driven indie-pop and bucolic acoustic interludes and the fantastically named Of Nylon weaves latin grooves through a 60’s vibe.

For an album which initially seems so understated, constant re-spins, and believe me you won’t be able to help yourself, reveals a set of songs which whilst seeming happy to run along reserved and simple lines are in fact brilliantly intricate and expertly layered. Those who shout loudest usually have the least to say, I should know, I have reviewed enough rock albums in my time, but this is an album with plenty to say both lyrically and musically. As is usually the case with such artists Claudio Conti is happy to wait until the listener gets it, lets them come to him and explore those deep and rich musical waters on their own terms. He also knows that once they do so, there will be no going back.

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