Brett Goldsmith – Ordinary Life (Independent)
Brett Goldsmith is a photographer and musician. I’ve checked out his various webpages and he’s a talented cameraman with a knack for telling stories within the confines of a still image. Music and songwriting provide other, different mediums for sharing narrative, and there are no shortage of noteworthy vignettes to be found on his tellingly titled, debut solo record, “Ordinary Life”.
Written and recorded on a farm in the Australian countryside, it’s an album of gentle, folky tunes that reflect their rural origins, but these tender melodies and Goldsmith’s comforting vocals are just a smokescreen for some gritty words. On “My Junkie Friend” he sings about letting a dependent friend go and the title track is stacked high with heartbreak and regret. This isn’t particularly new ground he’s covering, but he does it well. Love, loss and desire will always be universal themes, but he’s adept at supplying detail, the minutiae that gives a story depth and encourages empathy in the listener.
Amongst the dozen tracks on “Ordinary Life” there are plenty of highlights. Apart from the two tracks already mentioned, newcomers to the album should pay special attention to “True Romance” - it’s got a nice ‘70s singer-songwriter feel to it and is a little more downbeat than its title suggests. “Waiting for a Train” is all about escape, as all the best ‘train’ songs are, and final cut “Friends” is faultless psychedelic pop, with Goldsmith’s voice combining beautifully with a jagged (yet understated) electric guitar, and a hazy, impossible-to-pin-down arrangement.