Sometimes you just need someone singing to you. And sometimes, you don't want them to be singing about something pleasant. When I feel like that, I reach for my Flashlight Seasons - a haunting, very pleasant album that I think anyone can enjoy. Gravenhurst has put out a few other records, one of which I have (Internal Travels) and enjoy very much. That album showcased the songwriting and guitar melodies Nick Talbot is capable of creating, and Flashlight Seasons expands upon those ideas with more lush instrumentation and more aggressive multitracking. I'm not sure whether I can say for sure that it makes the album less intimate, but certainly it isn't as if he's just there in the room anymore.
The somber tone hasn't changed - Talbot's writing is reflective, filled with ghosts and darkness, and while much of the album moves in minor key, it isn't a funeral march - just a bit grim on the whole. The first track may be my favorite from the album and I am providing it, though it isn't quite representative of the rest of the songs. The voice is in rare character and percussion and instrumentation is denser on this track than the others, but it's a great song and it gives a general idea of what to expect. The album flows well and it's difficult to pick the best songs out, though "Bluebeard," "The Diver," and "Damage" play a bit more for me. "The Ice Tree" is a problem for me - I like it but I find it sort of theatrical and slightly forced.
In any case, the album is well worth your time, as is their earlier LP and probably their newer EP, Black Holes in the Sand. They have a new album coming out in the Fall according to the scanty information on their website, so keep an eye out for it and tell me when you see it in stores. As for you infernal downloaders, eating up my bandwidth, here is "Tunnels," from Gravenhurst's Flashlight Seasons.