Folk Thief Love, Heartache & Oblivion

Folk Thief Love, Heartache & Oblivion
Setting aside his punk leanings to relate acoustic stories, Dave Hadgkiss debuts Love, Heartache & Oblivion under the Folk Thief moniker. Yet the mature nature of his compositions – careful craftsmanship and Hadgkiss's world-weary poetic philosophizing – would have you convinced it's the work of an old hand, with one caveat. Don't judge the album by its bookends: the first and last minutes are its weakest. The former is uninspired, while the latter sees Hadgkiss sneaking some gritty vocal shouting into the last track (a slip? A relic? Who knows?). Undeniably, some may appreciate it, but given the new audience he's likely to attract with his lyrically driven, mid-tempo balladry, it may come across as more of an irritant than a charming musical tic. Beyond that, everything else is such an absolute delight that Love, Heartache & Oblivion is worth a spot in anyone's new fave playlist. Co-produced by Mike Cashin (Woodland Telegraph, Michael Buble), the record is mellow and reflective, and Hadgkiss's folkie finger picking is compelling. Should you require any more convincing, Kelly Haigh is reason enough. Folk Thief finds a perfect singing partner in this fellow Vancouverite. Following his lead in perfect time, Haigh's resonant timber exudes innocent warmth thats almost consoling given the sometimes fatalistic bent of Hadgkiss's lyrics. (Independent)