In the Vicinity of Miracles – Greg Smith (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Greg Smith has always had a way with understatement. Even when mining a more upbeat sonic seam he does so in a spacious and tasteful way, employing the minimal amount of musical building blocks to the maximum affect. Here, he really takes that idea to its logical conclusion.

In the Vicinity of Miracles is gentle and graceful piano led track, one which seems built more of emotion than any fully physical sounds. Even when the guitar plays its hand and some angelic, half-heard vocals are woven in, the song seems only to become more delicate and intricate rather than any heavier or more solidly constructed.

The main instrument here is space, something which is often overlooked but which is the most readily available sound to any writer and which, ironically, makes up 99% of all studios and venues. It is the space that adds the brooding silence which lingers as the piano notes fade. It is the space which allows the guitar notes to fully sound out as they drift away. It is the space which allows you to ponder the words before the next line is gracefully ushered in.

Just because you have a blank canvas in front of you doesn’t mean to say that you have to fill it all with sonic colour. Space is something that Greg Smith has turned into an art form in its own right.

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