Light Enough is a New York record, composed and conceived of in Jaye Bartell’s Brooklyn apartment in the year following his moving there. As an active poet, Bartell has a pretty potent lyrical insight, with these intimate songs addressing heavy subjects including dementia. Still though, they sound Light Enough. On Sinderlyn / Captured Tracks.
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Unbelievable front cover. Simply unbelievable. A pasty and awkward Bartrell in mid air. I guess it signifies he is 'light enough'.
It’s a shame that my first impressions of this were that awkward photo as this is really lovely. Bartrell has a marvellous chocolate brown voice which spouts words out of his mouth over gentle and evocative guitar pickings. He uses soft female backing vocals in the exact same was as Leonard Cohen did - as if something warm has been placed in a cold bleak world.
Despite the fact that I have him nailed as a thin wiry Leonard Cohen it doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying this record. ‘Tuesdays’ has that knack that Cohen has of putting slightly awkward words into gentle folky compositions. The instrumentation is minimal, usually made up out of picked acoustic guitars with the odd organ thrown in for added texture. ‘Laundry Line’ opens with the excellent line “If you don’t mind I’d like to hang myself……to dry for awhile’. Reminds me of Shuttleworth’s ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’.
Five or so songs in I’ve realised that I’m in the company of a man who isn’t going to cheer up in a hurry, his voice has the same monotone delivery on each track and if this were going to be a fantastic evening then I’d like a bit of variation. Tracks like the lilting 'Into Quiet' will of course appeal to fans of Smog but at this stage in his career I see Bartell as that quite-good-who-was-he-again? support act rather than a headline guy but this is nice stuff taken a few tracks at a time and I’m sure it will need time to grow.
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