Dave Kerzner recently released his third solo album, The Time Traveler, on July 10th. Dave has a ton of connections in the music world, and so the guests on this album range from Steve Hackett and David Longdon (RIP) to Marco Minneman, Nick D’Virgilio, and Billy Sherwood. I have to admit, though, that these sprawling prog collectives are starting to lose their luster on me.
The Time Traveler is an interesting album. It continues the story from Dave’s debut, as Dave does love a good story. You can see that in both Sound of Contact and In Continuum. However, this album sounds very much like a folk-slanted version of the Sound of Contact debut. There are melodies and moments that seem ripped directly from that album. It is quite distracting, honestly, even though it took me a couple listens to pinpoint what was so familiar. So, yes, this is a folksy, retro prog rock album with some very familiar portions and atmospheres. Dave sounds a bit like David Gilmour in his vocal delivery throughout, and so the whole thing is a solid experience if you like that kind of music.
My favorite songs are probably the two-part “Here and Now” and the exquisite “Feels Like Home”. There isn’t a bad song on the album, though. The album has plenty of rhythm and groove, and the odd smattering of soul. I think Dave has plenty more to offer us once he leaves his Sound of Contact ideas behind. For now, this is a good album that unfortunately won’t be that memorable for most.
I’ve been a fan of New Ghost since their debut New Ghost Orchestra in 2019, which I still see as a hidden gem. Their 2020 Future Is Dead EP was also a winner. The band just released another EP, Rectify, on October 28th, and it is solid, but something of a mixed bag, too.
The band plays a blend of dream pop, electronic, indie rock, post rock, and alternative. They definitely have an eclectic sound, especially on their debut album. This EP leans more into a hazy sort of dream rock sound, and I like that.
Rectify contains three songs, ranging from okay to great. The opener “Dreamsong” is the okay one for me. It has its moments, but mostly seems like an atmospheric idea that didn’t quite get developed enough. I still enjoy it for what is. The title track comes next, and is a fantastic song. The melody on this one is seriously addictive, and the band progresses it over five minutes to take advantage of just how good it is. I sing this track all the time. Finally, “Love Song for a Vampire” is solid closer with some abstract ideas that sound really good to my ears. I think they could develop that one a little more, too.
Overall, the EP is rock solid with one standout track. I would love to see the band collaborate on a full-length album and develop their ideas a bit more. The second track is head and shoulders above the others, and it is pretty obvious.
Atli Örvarsson is a modern classical composer with a long list of beautiful works. His 2020 album You Are Here is still something I listen to quite often for its warmth, breadth, and subtlety. He recently released a new record, 7 Cycles, on October 14th through INNI Music. At only 27 minutes, this does feel like an EP, and I feel that the ideas in it are underdeveloped, like many EPs.
Atli has a calming and gorgeous piano style. His music is primarily piano and strings, and this gives it a very personal and grounded feeling. I love how he writes floating, spacious ideas without necessarily relying on crescendos or explosive epic sounds to communicate emotion. He is a low-key composer in that sense.
7 Cycles is a solid album, but one that isn’t all that memorable, as well. I really like “Inertia” with its subtle sense of urgency and “Under Water” with its drifting aura, but the rest of the tracks are mostly just pleasant background music. Again, they are beautiful and I’m glad I heard them, but none of them really stay with me. There is a certain lack of dynamism that Atli highlighted on his debut, which certainly had more inventive melodies and ideas. Still, this is a nice album that I may throw on now and then.
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