Tyler Lemons has a sweet quality to his song and aesthetic. The moods dip into realms of sullen contention like a ballad encased in a melancholy shell. Despite the relaxed themes and acoustic presence that dictate Fiddle Dane, this album asks the listener to think past pure instrumentation and leaves itself open for deep absorbing. The artwork is understated in a way that says more than a photo usually can.
The soft purples and muted hues that surround are like softly spoken whispers toward the calm of a cloud-filled sky and the precious secrets that dwell in the sloping canopy of lights and darks. This scene is an image that pairs wonderfully with almost every track and that’s just one instance of how this album stays beautifully consistent as well as charmingly reserved.
I will say, that an artist walks a certain line when they create intensity through low dynamic means. I wouldn’t put this album akin to a prescription sleep aid, but some listeners might lose interest or even play the head nod game. So keep that in mind as you head out down Fiddle Dane lane. Also, keep in mind that Lemons plays every instrument heard on the album. Bravo.
Fiddle Dane is best experienced as a whole as it doesn’t make a distinct attempt at anything single-worthy or contrasting in light of a long walk through sonic calm. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong in that approach and I would simply suggest breathing it all in for the full appreciation of Lemons’ work.
“Eternal Shrine” ignites in a swelling cloud with bagpipes powering through the layered mix alongside vocals that shine stronger than any other moment on the record (You might want to note the discrepancy between the lyrics and the way it is musically presented on this song).
“Live On Our Own” has a perfect padding of cool synth permeating amidst the usual acoustic and the stronger influence of lead guitar, outlining a smooth hook the likes of “Lean On Me” but in a very steel guitar style. You may find other tracks make a deeper impact for you or hit a certain chord of longing that missed my heartstrings, nevertheless this collection is sure to provoke emotionally. For songs that sound like good background palettes, they hold their own and bring out an easily forgotten form of beauty – softness.
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