REVIEW BY JOEL INGLIS
Keep the Fire
(The state51 Conspiracy, 2017)
I’m not qualified to review this album. I just don’t have the toolkit for it. I spent my entire first two listens through trying to find flaws and simply being blown away. Flawless is a dumb word that I don’t want to depend on for an album that’s so well crafted and enjoyable. So I’ll saw that this album is… I don’t know… grand. It’s just simply grand.
This album is an emotional powerhouse. It’s beautifully produced with layers of intensely emotional musicality. It’s a perfect combination of intense vocals, perfectly layered instrumentation, and a feeling that’s dancy as all hell and somehow sweetly sorrowful at the same time.
The chorus to Deep in the Earth is something that will haunt me for the rest of my days. There have been a few times in my life where I heard a song and immediately thought “this will stay with me.” This is one of those songs.
When the Heart Attacks is my new favourite song, straight up. It starts with soft acoustic guitar, layering on top a single bass drum, and vocals. The drums get layered slightly more before a beautiful chorus with cello and vocal harmonies. I first heard this song during Gabrielle Papillon’s soundcheck at Gobblefest this year and was singing along before the soundcheck was over. The song draws you in so quickly that you have to immediately participate by dancing, singing, or just throwing yourself into it emotionally.
I don’t know what else to say about this album. After seeing Gabrielle play live recently, my expectations were pretty damn high for this one. It exceeded those expectations by being a brilliant album with incredible emotional and musical heft.
Pick this album up. It’s amazing!