Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Turn Up the Sound - Greg Laswell's Landline

Indy singer-songwriter Greg Laswell
The work of indie singer-songwriter Greg Laswell is my personal favorite musical discovery of the past decade.

Laswell's poignant and personal lyrics, laid down next to haunting piano and acoustic guitar melodies, create the kind of melancholy marriage made in heaven that stirs both my heart and head.

The best songs from his first few records, tunes like "High and Low" and "Marquee," are intense and brutally sad, reportedly coming on the heels of a viciously difficult breakup. On Landline, Laswell's new album which was released on Tuesday, things seem to be looking up a bit for the musician. There are more up-beats, heavier synthesizers, and less blunt force musical trauma.

Landline features several notable offerings, not the least of which is the title track, on which Laswell shares vocal duties with the lovely and talented Ingrid Michaelson. Laswell's voice is filled with yearning and depth, and Michaelson's is...utterly different, but pensive and somber just the same. When they sing alternate verses, their voices are perfect complements to each other, and when they sing together, they produce a harmony that is sweet and comfortable.

In the event that Greg Laswell's music, or my description of it, has left you with the impression that he is an artist who spends most of his days weeping alone in a corner contemplating sharp objects, be sure to check out this witty and entertaining "making of" video clip he made with Michaelson about their recording of Landline.

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