Day Broken

Samuel Gough

Independent release, 2013

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Describing his music as "cinematic tribal country," Norfolk singer-songwriter Samuel Gough has released his my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Day Broken EP in advance of a full album, due out soon. If this EP is any indication, it is an album worth checking out.

Gough's voice has an appealing rasp that draws comparisons to Springsteen and Joe Cocker, but the music is mostly acoustic rock with hints of organ, flute, and some country flavorings, particularly in "Morning Light," which is better than most of the Luke Bryan/Blake Shelton/Brad Paisley formulaic country pop that Nashville puts out every year. That voice takes some getting used to, though.

"Already Done" is the best song, a deceptively simple Lindsey Buckingham-styled ballad and "Stay With Me" is Springsteen noir, while the title cut is an effective post-breakup tune. Little about this music is tribal or country, though some of it could be cinematic, I suppose, in a quirky indie drama.

The only drawback, aside from "Molehill," is the lyrics, which are vague and cryptic most of the time. Only "Morning Light" is fairly clear in its declaration of love, though it has lines like "If she rode in on the morning light / I'd open up the window and I'm laughing out loud / No more to say about her." With any luck, that will be fixed by the time the album comes out.

Musically, Gough pretty much has nailed his own style, one that sounds like little else in 2013 and will most be enjoyed by fans of guys like Springsteen and Bruce Cockburn. Those people should definitely pick up Day Broken.

Rating: B-

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