Never Less Than Lonely – Lusitanian Ghosts (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There are many reasons why Lusitanian Ghosts don’t easily fit into the modern music world. But I always find that my favourite music is made by those who don’t fit in. It could be that culturally they draw on Portuguese, Canadian and Swedish backgrounds, rather than pandering to the all too often US pop and rock template. It could be that their music is created as a loose collective, meaning that as people come and go, so the influences and musical attributes of the band shift and swirl around beautifully. Perhaps it is their reliance on traditional folk instruments to make modern pop-rock music. More likely, it is because they don’t seem to be fazed or forced by fad or fashion, that they are happier following their own unique, uncompromising and often eclectic path.

So, if Soul Deranium had me drawing comparisons with The Waterboys sonic captain, The Mighty Mike Scott, to give him his full title, Never Less Than Lonely leans more into Nick Cave territory…especially if he was fronting a band like The Waterboys…and had been listening to a lot of 90’s indie bands….whilst heading to Cambridge Folk Festival.

Okay, that doesn’t help. Let’s just say that Never Less Than Lonely is a sensitive song about finding dignity in the face of those challenges to health and happiness in the autumn years of our lives. It doesn’t say as much but the subtext is a discussion about euthanasia, about being allowed a choice regarding how and, more importantly, when, you take that next step beyond this mortal coil.

As always the music is smartly put together and tenderly delivered, perhaps too understated to be an anthem in the sonic meaning of the word but a poignant and understated anthem nonetheless. If the point of music is not to inform, raise difficult questions, bring important issues into the realm of everyday conversation, to make ideas accessible, to broadcast thoughts and connect with like-minded people, all whilst entertaining, then I don’t know what is! This song does all of that and more, in both a sweet and sonically satisfyingly fashion.

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