Carrying the moniker Giraffe for this record, James Gardner releases his second compilation: There is No Devil. The album is a lush collection of folk, country alternative that’s perfect for fans of artists like Bon Iver or similar soft folk singers.
The songs resonate with acoustic guitars, beautiful singing and a catchy (sometimes odd) melody fit for most folk lovers. It’s an album that could serve as a worthy background to a laid back afternoon where you just want some simple but engaging music to keep you company.
After experimenting with electronics in his previous releases, Gardner takes it a step back and returns to his intimate roots. There is No Devil sees the artist picking up his guitar and settling for organs, bass & drums instead of various electronic trinkets, all while letting his voice roam free.
Animal opens up the album and greets the listener with some gorgeous guitar playing. The song is quite somber but not exactly depressing. Gardner’s voice adds a lovely touch of emotion to the swaying melody, plus the backing harmonies help to create the mood of the song. Other standout tracks for me include My Will To Drink, with its drunken cowboy vibe; and Goodbye, which is a very heartwarming song.
Although some of the songs do inject that characteristic Gardner sound from previous records, it doesn’t really overwhelm. Gardner as Giraffe pulls back yet still displays his sometimes awkward melodies. These work to his advantage as the songs have that familiar yet not completely familiar feel.
This is one of those records you can easily fall in love with after a listen or two. Giraffe’s brand of folk is both meaningful and endearing; making the album a treat for every single folk lover out there.
The album is released under 12rec netlabel and can be downloaded via Internet Archive.
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