What This Is –  Greg Smith (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a wonderful understatement and slightly haunted quality to What This Is, an inherent melancholy underlined by the mournful fiddle running through the song but also in the reflective nature of the lyrics. The words are slightly ambiguous and probably come from a very personal place but they seem to focus on that point in a relationship when the first flourishes of romance have dampened down to be replaced by something else. The question being, is this a stronger and more mature version of the relationship  or is this actually a waning of love.

This both highly personal yet universally relatable issue is set to some gorgeously restrained music, simple guitar rhythms, sparing backbeats and sparse bass lines, that gorgeously wistful violin dancing a dirge almost by itself, oblivious to the song it has wandered into and an almost conversational vocal. Country tones meet balladic indie, brooding folk music waltzing with dark and portentous pop music…it’s difficult to really pin down, but then all of the best songs are!

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