Daniel Martin Moore – Golden Age

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Working again with producer Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Kentucky-based singer/songwriter Daniel Martin Moore has put together another sublime set of unassuming yet subtly majestic piano-led folk-pop gems that blur the lines between morning dew reverie and rainy evening melancholy. Moore‘s even-keeled, vibrato-less vocals, evocative lyrics, and predilection for artful balladry suggests “Still Crazy After All These Years”-era Paul Simon by way of Andrew Bird, and the sparse yet detailed soft pop arrangements invoke the names of late-’70s singer/songwriters like Randy Newman, Gram Parsons, and Ian Matthews. Warm, weary, but bereft of self-pity, Moore, more often than not, lets the songs swing, albeit ever so slowly, like a front porch swing caught in a late afternoon breeze, and the best songs on Golden Age reflect that penchant for pairing heartache with Southern comfort. The album works best as a whole, with highlights like the soulful and bluesy “Our Hearts Will Hover,” the golden-hued closer “How It Fades,” the upbeat “On Our Way Home,” and the impossibly gorgeous title cut standing out. Each of the ten cuts paints an impressionistic picture, with Moore securing the listener’s attention via elegiac passages like “Stay the riot of your heart/I know this is how it fades/evermore and away,” but he does so with the genteel grace of a life-long Southerner, with each couplet, no matter how charged with ache, delivered with compassion and cordiality. It’s understated for sure, but its easy pace and self-effacing nature is bolstered by Moore‘s ardent adherence to humanity, simplicity, and melody.

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