Laith “Lightning”

Fluff and Gravy Records, 2023

Tales of Texas and beyond.

Lightning‘ is singer-songwriter Laith’s debut album.  It’s one that takes the listener on a journey across America from L.A. to Texas via New Orleans and Colorado. Throughout it has the relaxed vibe of an observer looking in from the outside as the world passes him by but occasionally touches him deeply. “Give me highways, give me road signs, peace of mind at a stop light“.

In ‘Texas Wind,’ he tells us he has “a head full of ideas he can’t shake.. let’s go dance to a Cajun rhythm. Let’s go have us a ball”. He is looking for his “lovin’ in New Orleans”, one of a number of tracks that take us from bar room to bedroom. Laith grew up with religion and his press information states “the tensions between pew and the barstool nearly pull him apart, however somewhere in that chaos he is able to find focus”.

It is very well played in terms of the musicianship with a particularly lovely slide guitar on ‘Texas Wind’ along with the sparse and beautiful piano playing on the ballad ‘No One Ever is Going to Put You Away’.

His voice is not his strongest feature, though that didn’t do Bob Dylan any harm but it does work for the style he adopts. The falsetto used on a number of tracks may not however be to everyone’s taste. He is joined on some of them by a female backing vocalist which does give them a lift. What makes ‘Lightning’ is the quality of the writing which is often quirky but always interesting and, in many cases, cinematic.

Overall, it is a very pleasant record that moves along quite nicely. Laith could definitely be one to watch for the future.

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Nice assessment of Laith and “Lightning“.
I hear strains of The Band, and Woody Guthrie, and even Tweedy. But mostly th’ Laither is his OWN man. And that high nasal twang? Well it DEFINES “Whine-core“!