Accomplished musician, singer and songwriter Daughn Gibson knows how to make the best of every instrument and musical genre he gets his teeth into. I don’t know to what extent his training as a drummer has something to do with it, but they say that drummers have a better sense of the balance they must keep between hard and soft. For some, drumming is like meditating. It’s also the general thrust that keeps a song and a band in sync together, containing the whole while ensuring it flourishes. It’s linear and organic.
That’s what I felt while listening to “Carnation.” It provided me with a sense of awareness and peace altogether, as would feel the instant mutation of a newborn and innocent creature into a superior and wiser being. Judging by Gibson’s ability to harmonize everything, from rock and electronic to groovy and more subtle country elements, it appears fair to say that “Carnation” fully lives up to its name for having a soul of its own, creating a new color and dimension within each original piece.
From ambient breezy sounds, to a subtle pedal steel guitar line, to simple and well thought out piano, the album intensifies in rigour, daring a saxophone riff in “Shine of the Night” to enhance the sophisticated mood.
The vocal arrangements along with the piano chords struck me as particularly rich and clever in “Bled to Death,” which happens to be the most soothing track of the album and my favourite. Perfect choice for an album-opening track, Daughn Gibson’s organic and elevating “Bled to Death” makes one feel like they’re flirting with the stars and their own sense of lightness, when they’re not brought back by his deep and sensual baritone which seems to act like a gravitational force that grounds us throughout the album.
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The overall instrumental arrangement in “Shatter You Through” sounded a lot like it was from the ’80s, which is great. I found that one particularly catchy, and the piano progression at the beginning that gets picked up later on is brilliant.
The bell-like piano and the magnificent violin progressions in “Daddy I cut my hair” challenge the low bass in a very harmonizing and touching way.
The bubbly pulsating at the beginning of “Heaven You Better Come In” added to the pedal steel makes for an interesting and original track as well.
Too clever an album to be called a “musical hotchpotch,” “Carnation” is the perfect combination of pure intelligence and madness. It’s definitely refreshing and diverse, but also consistent work by the very skillful Daughn Gibson.
Daughn Gibson Carnation gets released June 2nd