Shay Martin Lovette “Scatter & Gather”

Independent, 2021

An album that has moments of brilliance, but is not entirely cohesive.

Artwork for Shay Martin Lovette album "Scatter & Gather"Shay Martin Lovette’s latest album, ‘Scatter & Gather‘, produced by Mipso’s Joseph Terrell, is an album of stories that has moments of brilliance intertwined with some average songs.

The LP kicks off with the fantastic ‘Fierce and Delicate Things’. Fast and fun, the song wouldn’t be out of place from fellow americana musician Andrew Combs’ repertoire. It has folky vibes that you want more of throughout the album, and has a superb catchy chorus that you can’t help but tap your foot along to.

The other standout song from the album is ‘Further From My Demons’. Lovette shows himself to be a brilliant storyteller. Slow piano really highlights how good a voice he has in this beautiful track; listening to it, you really feel like you’ve heard it before and are listening to a song from a film soundtrack, and alongside the close-knit harmonies, you have a near-perfect piece.

That Spark’ however is where the LP starts to falter. Overall it just feels a bit too similar to some of the other tracks on the album, and today, you need every single song to standout. Alongside ‘Oh Nandina’, which has much more potential, you have two weak songs that feel almost a bit lazy and taken straight from someone else’s songbook.

Often, the best songs on an album are actually ones where the artist decides not to sing and just show off his artistry in his musical ability. Lovette’s voice is brilliant, but ‘Sourwood Honey Rag’ is a good fun folk song, and to have the confidence to perform a song without vocals is impressive.

Overall, the album has elements that would make it worth a listen, even if it won’t revolutionise the industry. If you need to listen to one thing that will convince you, head over and listen to ‘Further From My Demons’ as you’ll definitely want to hear more.


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