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Review: 'GOULD, ZEB'
'Destroyer Deliver'   

-  Label: 'Aqualamb'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '11th December 2020'-  Catalogue No: 'ALR-024'

Our Rating:
The sound and sentiments of 'Destroyer Deliver' have much in common with Neil Young's desolate period that inspired his ditch trilogy. The album is accurately summarized as gloom-folk meets sweet fingerpicking prairie-bliss."

It was recorded in New York's Dreamland Recording Studios and is built around the three-part vocal harmonies of Jeb Gould, Elizabeth de Lise, and Jeff Hudgins.

The sonic palette is augmented by discrete orchestrations, the violin of Zeb's wife, Megan, and Hudgins on clarinet and saxophone. Jerome Begin on keyboards, Christian Rutledge on drums and bassist Sam Crawford complete the septet.

Gould’s eight narrative songs evoke the much mythologized Midwest an the album comes with an illustrated collection of Gould's short stories designed to be read in tandem with the music.

The Arsonist is the album's centerpiece that builds from gentle folk to a rough-edged, but carefully controlled, cacophony - a slow burn if you forgive the pun.

The mood of the record is mostly melancholy with sentiments such as "the heart's got nothing left to lose" in A Body Ain't Nothing. However, there are also cheerier moments such as in the call and response vocals in the breezy Hearts Like Ours.

The consoling tone of Right As Rain similarly indicates that the emphasis is on hope rather than despair and the quietly affirmative message of closing track Away, My Destroyer is of deliverance over destruction.
  author: Martin Raybould

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GOULD, ZEB - Destroyer Deliver