Jacob Golden – The Invisible Record
Back in 2007 Jacob Golden released one of the albums of the year. Revenge Songs was a raw and at times bitter set of break-up songs. It seemed to mark the emergence of a powerful new force in the tradition of Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith, or Conor Oberst. Some things, though, are slower to emerge than others. Making Kate Bush and Damien Rice seem prolific, only now, more than eight years later and with a nod to the delay in the title, has the follow up album landed. Was it worth the wait? You bet. This is another great collection of songs. There’s plenty of musical adornment, but at the core everything is built around the guitar and Jacob Golden’s beautiful voice. The result is an intricate set of songs, with strong melodies, and erudite lyrics. There are some lovely turns of phrase, “Mother on the fire escape again, Nat King Cole on an old Walkman”. But perhaps the most striking track is ‘Bluebird’. This is a song that first saw the light of day at least seven years ago. Sung in the first person, it tells the story of an artist discovering music at a time of adversity, signing a record deal, losing pretty much everything, and then finding some redemption. It’s about the most autobiographical song you’re likely to hear this year. And surely one of the best, not least because of its references to Jarvis Cocker, P.J. Harvey, and The Flaming Lips to mention just a few. Jacob Golden has been away for far too long. The Invisible Record marks not just a return, but a more than welcome one. Let’s hope the next record is called The Surprisingly Quick Follow Up.