Findlay Brown; Separated by the Sea (PeaceFrog) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

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Findlay Brown: Come Home
Findlay Brown; Separated by the Sea (PeaceFrog) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Earnest young men of the Anglo-folk persuasion aren't exactly thin on the ground these days, but Brown is worth your attention. His voice is gentle but has some depth and restrained power, and if his lyrics stray sometimes into that self-obsession/broken love/"darkness of the soul and mind" axis then that pretty much comes with this territory.

What Brown has which sets him apart is a keen ear for a melody, the power of minimalism, and some jaunty alt.country/American folk references which in places push him just a bit closer to the mainstream in a way that is quite appealing.

As with Jose Gonzalez, Brown began playing in rock bands and for recreation would write on acoustic guitar. Ironically it was the quiet stuff that caught people's imagination. Also like Gonzalez, Brown has scored high visibility with one of his songs being used in an advertisement (Sony Bravia for Gonzalez, Mastercard for Brown apparently with his gorgeously simple Come Home).

Many of the songs here (the most obvious being the title track) were prompted by the distance from his Danish girlfriend, but they are also universal themes of love and loss.

With a touch of early (pre-Garfunkel) Paul Simon here and there, some nice finger-picking and discreet embellishments to add further interest, this is a sweet little album that I suspect could announce an artist many will happily follow from now on.

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