Boomkat Product Review:
Given the rather lo-budget cover, I can't say I was expecting a great deal from 'Cavalier' the latest album from US singer songwriter Tom Brosseau. His last few albums have failed to capture my imagination and while they're 'supposed' to be lo-fi, there's always been something missing in my opinion, something holding it back. Well 'Cavalier' rather than adding more to the sound has stripped it down to almost nothing at all, and that's thanks in part to the involvement of PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, who produced and recorded the album. Now we hear Brosseau's guitar recorded up close and his vocals near the point of clipping but in this starkness there's a beauty that simply wasn't quite so audible on previous albums. Apparently this is what you would expect to hear from Brosseau live, and certainly there's a feeling that this would come across wonderfully in the live environment ad the songs are humorous, warm and involving. Check the Sando Perri-isms of 'Committed to Memory' or the Jeff Buckley-lite 'Armory' - each track holds inside it such a wealth of emotion and Brosseau is unafraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. This allows him to embed much American musical history as he incorporates blues and olde folk music into his oevre to come up with beauties like 'Instructions to Meet the Devil' and 'My Peggy Dear'. As I mentioned before I wasn't expecting much from this record but it surprised me almost instantly and is one of the more hidden treats I've discovered this month. Gorgeous and somehow timid, but all the better for it.