Friday, September 22, 2017

The Salient Braves - Delusions of Grandeur

Songwriter and listener alike are focused on the human condition.  Life is all about us, after all.  But that doesn't mean every songwriter can articulate the human condition in a way that is both entertaining and relatable.  And our advice is this -- when you find a songwriter like that, you keep him close.  We've been looking for our listeners, and we've found Matt Bailey.  Bailey is insightful, acerbic, and witty.  He takes a clear-eyed look at life, points at the scabs and scars while shedding a few tears or howling at the injustice, then invites us all to laugh.  And he isn't poking fun at the nameless unfortunates; these are first person confessionals set to music with no hint of shame or self-pity.  The result is nothing less than the timeless dance of poetic storytelling and melody.

And that brings us to Delusions of Grandeur, the delightfully named debut LP from Bailey's The Salient Braves.  A Barnsley-based band consisting of Bailey, Johny Nocash and Neil Ritchie, with some backing vocals by Dani, they provide the perfect support for Bailey's stories.  We could go on at great length about the song quality, but you can stream the album for yourself, and read the lyrics on the Bandcamp page.  However, just to give you a flavor, consider the brilliant opening lines, such as the following from album opener "Somewhere Sordid":
Why don't you tell me another lie 
like the one you did last night? 
you know I bought it 
and do you know that contagious disease 
you brought back from your visit to Greece? 
I think I've caught it 
You saw me standing there 
running my fingers through my hair 
a poseur without a care venue? 
Somewhere sordid 
Or take the complaint of the miscreant protagonist of "Guilty Until Proved Innocent":
Well I was doing nothing wrong I was.... 
just hanging around there for too long 
until the boys in blue came along oh no! 
the arm of the law was strong 
threw me into a cell and then proceeded 
to throw the book at me as well 
my mother said I'd never learn 
and now the wheels of justice slowly turn 
The legal system's crooked and all the coppers are bent 
so I am presumed guilty until proven innocent 
And you must try "They Must Have Seen Me Coming", which begins with 'Have you ever seen a grown man cry?'

Actually, you must try them all.  This is one of our favorite indie pop albums of the year, packed with terrific melodies and sincere performances.  You don't acquire music like Delusions of Grandeur because it is on top of the pop charts or because it reflects current styles.  You acquire music like Delusions of Grandeur because it is a sincere package of humanity, styled with poignancy and humor, that will give you satisfaction now and for years to come.  The album is out now via Broken Down Records.  See the Bandcamp link for details and a highly recommended stream of the album.

Live performance of "Bankok":

Bandcamp for Delusions of Grandeur

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