Monday, 17 March 2014

Eliza Gilkyson - The Nocturne Diaries

Much More Than Deserving

I have most and have listened to much of Eliza Gilkyson's considerable musical output and it is always excellent. Always. It is therefore a little embarrassing to say I don't remember any one song or even any one album distinctly. It would be faint praise to put that down to the universal excellence already mentioned, but I think this must actually be the case. The Nocturne Diaries would seem to fit that scenario as well, so again to wax lyrical will seem somewhat obtuse, but it is a beautiful [if at times downbeat lyrically] album. There are country tinges as on Eliza Jane and No Tomorrow, with sweet fiddle on the second, and opener Midnight Oil has some haunting soundscapes provided by Eliza's son Cisco Ryder who takes on overall production of the album. Fourth track An American Boy reflects the lyrical seriousness in a story about a young boy struggling with his life, with parents who keep the gun-case locked up tight: this reference adding another layer of horror to the story in seeming to provide the context itself as ordinary. But the boy contemplates blowing his world to kingdom come and we know where the storyline has its historical roots, past and present. The song finishes with a foreboding warning. Such a narrative is memorable, and perhaps this is the key: all of Gilkyson's melodies are well-crafted and perfectly played, but she does not put the catchiness of songcraft above lyrical integrity. I haven't expressed that as clearly as I want, but I know what I mean. I think my tentativeness is prompted by the guilt in not knowing her work better. It certainly deserves better.

No comments:

Post a Comment