Published May 21, 2020With his classically raspy voice and rhythms that encourage the tapping of toes, listening to Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Lindy Vopnfjörð's latest album State of the Heart feels like listening to somebody who's been making music for a long time. And, given that this is his eighth studio album, it's relatively true.
It follows on from last year's You Will Know When It's Right both chronologically and sonically, being light, uncomplicated, and at times cheesy. The title track, which opens the album, has Celtic undertones — the strings swaying in circles and vocals emphatically releasing emotion. "This was meant to be a protest song but the politics were wrong," Vopnfjörð admits in the chorus. "I can only sing these love songs since I met you."
Love is a recurring motif throughout the album, like in "Already Over My Head" with its softness and rose-scented melancholy, and "Can We Still Be Lovers," with its old-timey musings and grandly jolly instrumentation. "Won't You Come and See Me Sometime" consists of a compiling of affection-adorned lines that border on cliché while joined by a harmonica that continues into "Letters."
Sound-wise, State of the Heart doesn't blur into one but keeps things varied. "Breathe" is a steady pace, the sweet plucks of guitar accompanying the start subtly amounting to a swirl of rapid drum taps, while "Cutting Room Floor" wouldn't feel out of a place at a grandparent's party. "Turns to You" and "Until I Have to Let You Go," however, are more in line with Vopnfjörð's Frozen in Time-era sound — folksy, calmly sunny and made for the outdoors. As the closing tracks, they're a reminder of a familiar side to the singer-songwriter that hasn't been left behind.
The songs on the album aren't innovative or bound to stand the test of time but they do emit a geniality that's sure to bring fans closer together. (Independent)