Ben Glover “And The Sun Breaks Through The Sky”

Goldrush Records, 2024

Northern Irish Nashville-based Ben Glover’s fine collection of songs.

Album art for Ben Glover 'And The Sun Breaks Through The Sky'Ben Glover is as well-known as a songwriter as a performer, having written or co-written for a host of acts including Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier and Kim Richey.  After starting out with the Earls in his native Northern Ireland, Glover moved to Nashville around 15 years ago, during which time he has issued a number of solo records as well as albums as part of The Orphan Brigade.

‘And The Sun Breaks Through The Sky’ is his sixth under his own name and his first since 2018’s ‘Shorebound’ which was named Album of the Year in the UK Americana Music Association’s awards.  It was co-produced by Glover with Dylan Alldredge at Skinny Elephant Studios in Nashville.

Glover says, “This album embodies a fresh creative approach for me within the studio. The recording process began in 2019, and I allowed it to progress naturally over four years until it felt like a family of songs had come together. Moreover, I found that by taking a more patient path, the recording sessions nurtured a deeper dialogue with the songs themselves.”

All but one of the songs on the album are co-writes and Glover has called on a group of friends and musical partners including Will Kimbrough, Colm McLean, Jaimee Harris  and Barry Walsh.  Sam Howard’s bass is featured on most tracks and Danny Mitchell’s keyboards add a lot of colour.

The album’s opener and the only song written solely by Glover, ‘Make My Way Home’ starts with strummed acoustic before guitars and keyboards layer in and Glover’s and Harris’ vocals accentuate the artist’s sense of contentment. The title track was co-written with Glover’s Orphan Brigade bandmate Neilson Hubbard who plays bass on the track underneath some swampy sounding guitars from Kimbrough and Johnny Duke. The imagery of cloud, sun and water is pretty evocative. ’There’s A River’ is an enjoyable folk-pop tune which sounds like it was made for Radio 2.

‘The Meadow’ is the first of two songs co-written with Gauthier which also appeared on her 2022 album ‘Dark Enough To See The Stars’.  Stripped back to Glover’s guitar and Mitchell’s piano, the hushed vocal brings out the intimacy and regret of the lyric.  After ‘Lifetimes Apart’ and its spin on the circular and the parallel, the first of two co-writes with Richey ‘One Fine Day’ returns to the theme of finding peace in life. Richey’s backing vocal underlines the song’s mood.

‘Arguing With Ghosts’ is so well known it’s hard to un-hear Peters’ original when listening to Glover’s take.  His lead vocal intertwines with Richey’s voice and Mitchell’s organ while McLean adds guitar textures and a blistering short solo before the performance builds eventually dropping into a soft repeat of the opening verse. The second Richey co-write, ‘Break For You’ is underpinned by Kimbrough’s ganjo which, with Hammond’s bass and Mitchell’s organ makes for one of the most distinctive sounds on the record.

The album ends with ‘Till I See You Again’ which also closed out co-writer Gauthier’s last record as ‘Till We Meet Again’. Backed by McLean’s guitar and Walsh’s piano and vibes, Glover’s singing draws out the love at the song’s heart.  It’s a natural closer.

‘And The Sun Breaks Through The Sky’ is an enjoyable collection of songs performed with in a style which always aids and lifts the song and as such is very much a writer’s album.

8/10
8/10

About Richard Parkinson 135 Articles
London based self-diagnosed music junkie with tastes extending to all points of big tent americana and beyond. Fan of acts and songs rather than genres.
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