Deni Gauthier – Passenger

DeniGauthier-PassengersThis review is long over due. I didn’t mean for it to be so delayed, but life got in the way. Which is a bit ironic in that the newest offering from Deni Gauthier, Passenger, is all about life getting in the way… in beautiful ways, in sad ways, and even in tragic ways. Deni says that the music on this album is stripped down compared to past albums, and that is true. But… somehow there are still so many layers to each song. You hear different little things each time you listen. Guitar parts that you didn’t notice before, or drum fills that seem to come from nowhere. You almost feel like you are hearing a different album each time you listen. Or maybe a sequel to the last time you listened. For example, the guitar work in “Hurt Feelings” is particularly beautiful or melancholy depending on how you hear the song at any particular time. Or listen to the… I can’t quite tell.. three or four?… different guitar tones layered on top of each other in “Out of Touch Out of Luck.” Each one brings out a different listening experience depending on which layer you connect with at any given time. If you wonder why people like the 77s and Chris Taylor are taking Deni out on their tours, you should check out this album right now. Stylistically, this is acoustic/folk/americana music, a logical progression from Quiet Town, which itself began to step away from the more pop/rock music of his past work. Of course, with Deni sharing his past grunge rock demo on Instagram (BandCamp next? 🙂 ), we know the dude has a range of musical talents. Speaking of which, I should also note Deni’s talent for adding complex vocals and lyrics to his songs. “Let Me Go” has a moving and fascinating interplay between Deni’s vocal delivery and the clever lyrics. The same can be said about every song on this album. Oh, and “Dad’s Song” is a tear jerker even if you just read the words alone, but the way Deni sings it takes it to the next level. Overall, a highly recommend album for fans of deep, personal acoustic music.

[2016 Independent | Purchase: denigauthier.bandcamp.com]

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