It has been over four years since Findlay Brown's last album, 2010's Love Will Find You which was my introduction to the Brooklyn based singer-songwriter. That album saw Brown incorporate the influence of the likes of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison into his sound for an all out tribute to the classics of the 50's and 60's. Now with Slow Light, he is returning to the stripped down, folksy elements of his 2007 debut album Separated By The Sea.
Brown recorded Slow Light over a two year period in New York and his list of influences on this album are many. The bare bones folk sound is obvious on a number of tracks, but Brown also mentions the 60's and 70's work of Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg, as well as the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone as inspirations. The album was produced by Tobias Wilner of the band Blue Foundation.
Slow Light isn't a particularly lengthy album, its ten tracks clock in at 37 minutes and two of them are more or less short instrumental pieces. It may be brief but it makes up for it in depth. "Mountain Falls For The Sea", nothing more than Brown's gentle vocal and an acoustic guitar, is a powerful declaration of love, with an equally beautiful video to accompany it. "All Is Love" is also an unabashed love song, this one fleshed out with lovely orchestration, you can certainly hear the cinematic influences as this one builds to its conclusion. "Alone Again" is another stripped down stunner, again Brown using his voice and acoustic guitar to elicit a convincing emotional impact.
There are a number of other fine ballads here but there are a few more upbeat tracks mixed in including "Made Of Stone" and "Ride Into The Sun", both boasting memorable, melodic choruses. "Make A Getaway" fits perfectly within the album, yet distinctly sounds like nothing else on it. Yes, there is still acoustic guitar, but add a foreboding, eerie keyboard line and a dark, atmospheric mood and this track is a stand out.
In today's music world, four years between albums is a long time. It can make it real easy to forget about an artist or band. Findlay Brown has returned with an album that can't be forgotten after the first listen. It's good to have him back.
Favorite tracks: "Make A Getaway", "Mountain Falls For The Sea", "All Is Love", "Alone Again"
Slow Light was released September 4th, 2015, so far as a Digital Download only, via DPC Records.