Review – David Simard

Album: The Heavy Wait
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Genre: Alt-Folk

Vancouver-based singer/songwriter David Simard recently released his latest album titled The Heavy Wait. The album is a compilation of 11 songs inspired by material gathered over the past eight years. Simard and his band proved that the patience was worth it as the album is a carefully crafted piece of art full of rich imagery, subtle layers and emotionally charged stories that unapologetically captivate the listener.

“Cat’s Cradle” opens the album with a lagging, heavy theme and an ominous undertone. Although the music is somewhat minimalistic, a slow tempo and persistent percussion section keeps the tune moving and growing. Each section of the music introduces different layers, allowing the listener to discover something new as the song subtly builds. The tune moves at a drawn out pace as Simard’s crooning vocals effortlessly soar over the instrumental line, evoking a quiet energy that sets the tone of the album.

“Lucie” and “Good Clean Water” follow as classic good ol’ folk tunes with a simple, grassroots theme telling stories about love, nature, and summer. Offering some easy listening and a break from the ominous tone of most of the album, these tunes serve as a reminder that sometimes taking joy in the simple things is all you need.

While the whole album is worth a full listen, some other tunes that stand out would be “The Line” and “La Dee Da” due to their unique forms. “The Line” begins with a stark, accented intro that draws the listener’s attention right away. Contrastingly, Simard sings with a smooth, melodic tone and adds a hint of vibrato over the harsh layers. The music picks up to a moderate toe-tapping pace which occasionally gets interrupted as the band brings it back to the gritty theme of the song and weaves together different musical elements.

“La Dee Da” has an elegant, vintage vibe to it with a moving waltz dripping with mystery and intensity. While the music stays true to its form for the most part, subtle accents and an unexpected bridge take the listener on an unpredictable journey. Evoking images of smoky European bars and elegant dancers, the song effortlessly paints a story in the listener’s mind and makes it easy to lose yourself in the music.

Overall, The Heavy Wait is an album full of masterpieces. There isn’t one song that seems to be lacking or out of place. Each track from the album is full of poignant artistry that is difficult to capture, yet remains accessible to the listener. Grab yourself a cup of tea on a rainy day (or any day, really) and fully take a listen to Simard’s work, uninterrupted by anything else in order to understand and explore all the album has to offer.

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