Low Skies | All the Love I Could Find (Flameshovel)

Truth be told, there’s something missing. No individual song stands silhouetted against the horizon, as did so many of the tracks from your debut. Not one of them has the plaintive musical phrasings that get under the skin.

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Dear Guys:

Thanks for the new release; just received it last month. Listened to it for the first time while driving from St. Louis to Kansas City, which turned out to be fortuitous, as the CD is filled with songs for long, lonely periods on the highway. In March, the landscape was an undulating sorrow of yellow and brown; good time to be alone, listening repeatedly to Low Skies.

By coincidence, it was the tenth anniversary of the release of Fargo when I first listened to “All the Love…” It got me to thinking of the similarities between your music and the movie, how they both present the cowboy/farmer persona with neither apologies nor romanticism, yet manage to elicit a wary respect for the stoically tortured souls on this earth.

Can’t help wondering what crystal ball you used in order to insert several songs that take deadeye aim at the same sacred taboos that starred in Brokeback Mountain. When “Cousin” and “You Can’t Help Those People” hit the gay rodeo circuit, you’ll have a whole new niche following. Thought about making soundtracks for critically acclaimed movies?

But, truth be told (and keep in mind how deeply fond I am of you), there’s something missing. No individual song stands silhouetted against the horizon, as did so many of the tracks from your debut. Not one of them has the plaintive musical phrasings that get under the skin. Even while listening to the catchiest ones in the pack, like “It Is True” or “The Cause of It,” the involuntary thought pops up: Yeah, but it’s not a patch on “Palmyra” or “Margaret” from the first issue. Guilt immediately slapped me in the face for thinking such a thing.

This is not to say that it’s not a good collection. It grows on a person, and much like a finely crafted single malt, more layers are discerned through more tastings. The stories of failed, failing, or inevitably-to-fail relationships are beautifully wrapped up in the barbed wire of Chris Salveter’s voice. It just seems a shame that among all the gifts, there were no surprises.

 

 

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