“Pleasant” is a word that I often don’t employ in describing a whole album, but I can think of no better word to describe the debut solo effort of Jordan Faye.
To feed my narcissism for a minute, I was drawn to this album upon finding out that Faye’s backup band is called the Grey Owls. Of course, it was even better when I found out how refreshing this effort truly is.
At times, Faye and his backup band of Brian Scarth and Dave Haffey sound like the Beatles, at other times, the three sound like the solo work of Tokyo Police Club’s Graham Wright. Either way, there is a lot of strong material on this album.
Near the top of the album is “Blood Moon,” one of my favourite songs bar none. It’s a simple but pretty acoustic guitar-driven tune that stuck in my head thanks to the repetition of the phrase “On a blood moon.” The vocal harmonies make the song even sweeter, and vocal harmonies are present in almost every song. Despite the grim song title it’s actually a pretty happy song.
In fact, happiness seems to be a common theme and mood of this album, culminating in an ending song called “Happiest.” This song is almost overkill in happy- it’s so upbeat and catchy that I wouldn’t be surprised if it were put in a TV commercial. It’s got light guitar chords, handclaps, the works. “Playing to the Wind” and “You Put a Price On My Head” also capture happiness pretty effortlessly.
Of course, an album completely fueled by happiness might drive some people crazy, and there are some sombre and wistful moments to keep the album balanced.”Destroy the Evidence” is a dark song accompanied by echoing electric guitar chords and seems to be about the trouble in forgetting about someone once loved. “The Divorce” is also a little negative in subject matter; the song seems to be less about a couple being divorced as a person being divorced from humanity. The ending is also a chaotic and uncharacteristically experimental explosion of instruments that isn’t heard anywhere else on the album.
Other notable songs include “Quiet of Night” which has a distinctive jazz-bar feel to it, and “Another Night, Another Round” which has a very cool Spanish-style guitar playing in the background. Throw in some guest appearances by members of Del Bel and Pemi Paull and you’ve got yourself a very pleasing album.
Sorry, I Slept In is available via Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “Blood Moon”; “The Divorce”; “Destroy the Evidence”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*