David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights latest album, Left By Soft, sounds free, easy, relaxed and natural so it makes sense that the album was recorded over one week in a camping lodge at the southern tip of New Zealand’s south island.
The album’s got a jam session feel and songs flow from one to the other. Opening tracks “Left By Soft” and “Way Down Here” have some added energy that helps to set the album in motion before it truly settles into its laid-back sway.
Nothing is too complex on Left By Soft. Kilgour keeps things simple and lets the melodies take over. “Break in the Weather” is a gem and perfect for cloudy summer days. The meta “Pop Song” about writing pop songs is about as heady as it gets here.
The second half of the record loses steam and starts to wander. The six minute “Diamond Mine” is misplaced and wearying. There are fewer melodies to give context to the long jams and the songs feel more amorphous than they did at the beginning of the album.
There are a few songs that would be worthy additions to any summer playlist, but the weak back half prevents Left by Soft from being a great summer album overall.
Left by Soft is available now through Merge Records.