Friday, July 16, 2010

Songs for the Lovelorn

I should start by admitting my overwhelming bias in this matter – I am a bit in love with David Vertesi. Not so much in the “I want to have his babies” or “I sit outside his window and watch him sleep”  kind of way, but more in the “head-over-heels with his voice and heart and talent” kind of way.

I first met David in 2007 (I think) when his band Hey Ocean! performed a free show at a local bar. Since then, I’ve been to see him more than 20 times- ranging from his role as bassist for HeyO! and TopLess Gay Love Tekno Party, as well as two solo performances opening up for Hannah Georgas. Suffice to say, when Dave told me he was getting ready to record his album earlier this year, I was stoked. And as the months have passed, my anticipation (and, let’s be honest, desperation) to hear his first solo project has exploded. So, when he sent me a digital copy of the yet-to-be-released album a month ago, I lost my mind a bit.

Let’s just say that I’ve been amazed by this kid’s voice since I first heard him sing his as-yet-still-a-demo song “It Always Goes.” There is nothing like a sweet set of bass vox to make me go all wibbly.

What I’m getting at is that I’m far from unbiased. At the same time, I’m going to try to differentiate between Dave the Dude and Dave the Musician. Here I go.

Vertesi’s debut solo album takes a leap away from the party tunes of TopLess Gay Love and the carefree pop of Hey Ocean!; Focused on more emotional ground, Cardiography (2010) details (and I’m guessing on the timeline here) a year of Vertesi’s life- namely, falling in and out of love.

Navigating the listener through the eyes of a hopeful romantic to those of a lovelorn man, Cardiography is, in some ways, a typical debut album. Raw and passionate, Vertesi’s creation may lack the subject matter diversity of the average sophomore release, however he more than makes up for it with a raw honesty that confirms his dedication to his work.

Although not likely to resonate with everyone, Cardiography most certainly has an audience. Reflecting on love and heartbreak, he leaves the album with a surprisingly positive outlook – an “it’s better to have loved and lost, even though the loss feels like your heart’s been carved out with a dull, rusty spoon” feeling.  Lovelorn and hopeful, the album highlights Vertesi’s talent – as a writer, vocalist, and versatile musician - having performed all but the horns and strings himself.

All-in-all, Cardiography does exactly what any good debut release should- showcases the raw talent of an artist while providing a foundation upon which to grow and develop as a musician. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, Cardiography is evidence that David Vertesi is a man to be watched; great things are surely to come.

Album: Cardiography
Artist: David Vertesi
Release Date: Not Soon Enough (TBA)
Overall Rating: Top 25 Most Played
Track Listing: (1) Mountainside; (2) Gentlemen Say; (3) All Night, All Night, All Night; (4) Learn to Run; (5) Cardiography; (6) Broadcasting; (7) Caroline! A Ghost!; (8) Rossland; (9) Soft Skin; (10) Hearts Don’t Break, People Do; (11) Epilogue
Personal Fave: Soft Skin
Top Lyrics: And if I am a ship lost at sea, then you are a beacon; burning a hole in the night, a path to safety.

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