Review Summary: Simple but special instrumental folk from the face behind The Flashbulb.Note to reader
: I originally thought the album title was Louisiana Morning
Note to self
: Read album titles closer in the future
Note to Benn Jordan
: Please don't do that again
I don't think I'd get on with Benn Jordan. At least not before noon. Judging from his work on Louisiana Mourning
, the Flashbulb maestro seems to be one of those dreaded 'morning people'. The sort of guy who's actually seen the sunrise outside of the television screen. The sort of guy who doesn't need ultra-strength coffee, cold showers or shock therapy to get up before 9am. The sort of guy who actually likes
to be up with the birds at the break of dawn. The break of dawn doesn't even exist in my world.
I could see myself changing in tune with the whole of Louisiana with this record though. Just as there was in his critically acclaimed Soundtrack To A Vacant Life
, Louisiana Mourning
is brimming with a deep, delicate energy which surrounds and permeates whoever may be listening. On paper, it's nothing special. A simple set of four entirely instrumental folk tunes, heavy on the acoustic arpeggios, laden with violins, pianos and assorted ambience. But Jordan seems to have this knack of bringing simple ideas to life, and its no different here.
The songwriting is carefully constructed, and doesn't follow simple routes. Take 'III' for example, it begins with soothing acoustics, almost poppy in their fragile bounciness, the fluctuations in volume evoking thoughts of twisting country roads. Then the acoustics dissapear and in to the fray comes the simple, reverb-heavy electric guitar to create an almost post-rock atmosphere, helped on by the appearance of floating ambience. Finally, both the electric and the acoustic guitar return to create some unremarkable, but still lively interplay. Everything moves with purpose and direction, but doesn't just take the usual path, and the whole thing feels a lot more alive because of it. This is the sort of thing that I'd be happy to wake to in the morning. Subtle, moving, peaceful, conscious.
While nowhere near as sprawling and multi-dimensional as his work on Soundtrack To A Vacant Life
under the Flashbulb moniker, Louisiana Mourning
showcases the same type of modest magic that made Benn Jordan's 2008 epic so endearing and special. No, it's not going to make many end-of-year lists, Jordan knows this. It doesn't ask for that. If it was any grander, it wouldn't work. It's just got that 'crafted with love' feel from the first bird chirp to the last, and, although it will most likely go down as one of the years forgotten gems, it will surely strike a forgotten chord with anyone who takes the time to wake to it.