Langhorne Slim “Lost at Last Vol 1” (Dualtone Records 2017)

Langhorne Slim has taken a “step sideways” from 2015’s The Spirit Moves in order to move forward. The result is a more stripped-back offering that retains much of Slim’s defiant introspection albeit in a more lo-fi folk style than previously. Recorded at Stinson Beach, California where views of the ocean have inspired numerous artists, “Lost at Last” sees Slim channel his desire for individuality into thirteen tracks that may lack some polish but gain a raw authentic feel. It’s a collection of songs, recorded almost spontaneously with a backing cast of seasoned Slim veterans like bassist Paul Defiglia and drummer Malachi DeLorenzo who also takes producing credits alongside Mt Davidson of Twain who contributes pedal steel among other things.

Langhorne Slim’s message about the confining aspect of life and expectations is clear from the first track, Life Is Confusing, where he sings that “people are insane”. There is a recurring theme of individuality struggling with the expected norms and pressures to fit in that Slim is kicking against on a record which he cites Cat Stevens as being a major influence on.

“You can break my bones, you can break my heart but you’ll never break me” on Never Break could be the defining lines on the album as the joy of writing and recording songs such as the Bluegrass-tinged Bluebird and infectious Zombie shines through.

“Lost at Last” is an enjoyable and uplifting antidote to these dark days with a message of hope that many will welcome.

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