Though his performance in our Guest Apartment was fever pitched
, Langhorne Slim
certainly knows how to dial it back, such as the case with the title track from his recently released album, Be Set Free
. Taking his foot off the pedal, Slim glides through the kind of tune that demands an excavation of the heart and soul. Without it, all those nuances - the drums that hit just behind the beat, the ardent, vocal cadence, the desperate rasp in Slim's voice - wouldn't be possible.
Pairing a video to the song, Slim finds the perfect little story to add an extra layer of dimension. To lines such as, "When you're tired and you're torn/And humankind seems filled with misery/Then you can, yes you can/You can be set free", a charming, animated character trudges through the daily grind, making a life amongst a bleak and monotonous backdrop. When enough is enough...when he tragically hits the brink of his existence...well, it's safe to say Slim's song is for him. - David Pitz
Outside of Philadelphia I was born and raised, and in the playground I spent quite a few of my younger days. At the time I had a preference for brunettes but years pass and we change. When my tendencies turned toward blondes I began to hear the call of the big rotten apple and at eighteen, away I went. Gone were the lonely, sweaty summer nights of PA. The crickets were still cricken' but not in my ears. I was in New York and I was looking for action. Some crave love, some seek danger but I was on the hunt for open mics and not to bragI found 'em. In a section of the city once referred to as alphabet on the lower east side there lurks a lot of white guys with acoustic guitars. This minor mass of songsters would meet one, two and sometimes three times a week in the back of bars, smoking, drinking and sharing with each other our newest creations. It was there that I met some good friends and came of age beginning to play my own shows and tour.
One of the most endearing and standout qualities of Slim's live shows is the sureness that one is always entering a genuine gospel-like musical experience full of little miracles. Be Set Free has captured this charisma and spirit -the "hold your heart" moments and "raise a drink" dance vibes shine throughout with lush string arrangements and the fine sonic talents of drummer Malachi DeLorenzo and new bassist Jeff Ratner. Langhorne's stronger than ever vocals lead the journey blending his poetry through the beautiful chaos and bearing a wisdom that reflects a broken heart battling the perils of true hope.
Be Set Free is Langhorne's most cinematic and cohesive effort to date. Slim has truly reached a point of light where these songs come from wide-eyed maturity and mastered craft.
Gut wrenching lyrics and gorgeous merry melodies-it would be easy to categorize it as folk, but this time-it's much more complex than just that slice of pie. Sweet hallelujah choruses bleed throughout tracks like "Land Of Dreams" and "Say Yes" and turn to the darkness of blues filled "I Love You, But Goodbye". - Kemado