David Anderson provides listeners with those authentic fire-side vibes that seem to emerge less and less these days. Lake Placid Blue is a calming, organic playlist that gives off the closest feeling to a live show as possible – as if the musicians and the singer are right there in the room with you.
From the opening hit that is Charline Arthur, through the delicate warmth of Mystic Knights of the Folk-Rock Wars, the artist showcases a strong ability to write songs that connect with ease, as well as to craft varied yet equally emotive, soothing soundscapes.
While the sound of this project has a fairly classic feel by nature, there are several ideas that pour through lyrically and offer something a little left of the expected. Anderson’s story telling and his own honesty and often vulnerability fuse beautifully to lead the listener through a series of deeply thoughtful, poetic moments.
In terms of the mood of the project, there’s a fair bit of variation. Tulsa Riot has something of an Elliot Smith vibe musically and melodically, though Anderson’s voice – and this is something you notice more and more so throughout – leans in a slightly classic direction yet again; actually reminding me of the Eagles on occasion. There are some simple but effective riffs filling the gaps between vocal snippets that add to the overall effect and help make this a stand out track from the whole collection. The lyrics captivate – Anderson paints a clear and compelling picture with his words.
I Won’t Break Your Heart mellows things out again, acoustic guitars lead the way, and Anderson injects more of that personal experience and emotion into the process. His voice is softer here, reflecting his own gentle approach and honesty in an authentic, believable manner. Big Star follows and picks up the pace – classic rock reignites, great guitar work, and by now you’re well and truly entranced by David Anderson’s words and his voice.
The project’s title track is one of the most memorable, coming through at just over four minutes in length, the detail and the melodic progression offer a particularly hypnotic bit of writing and performance that lulls you into a state of calm. After this, Anderson makes sure to kick things back up again with the Americana rhythms and pace of Trouble All My Life. His voice never strains past what it’s naturally capable of, and this becomes an endearing and enjoying quality that again reinforces that genuine aura.
Towards the end of the album, The Edge Of Yes is another Eagles-inspired song with some well crafted, long-form verses, and a notably more intense hook section. The storytelling and the personal touch fuse wonderfully once more, and the guitar work seems to meander perfectly among this.
Anderson’s scene-setting reaches its absolute peak as the final track of the collection plays out. The Belle of New Haven (Sarah Winchester speaks from beyond) is a song with a subtle and slightly haunting musicality, and lyrics that float through in a totally engrossing fashion. As the details emerge, the intensity rises – a dash of cello and a few additional layers – Anderson’s voice maintains a certain tired tone for the most part, but this too seems to pick up momentum and weight towards the end of the story and as certain key ideas are repeated.
The song’s hook is surprisingly beautiful, higher notes and harmonies push the concept through with incredible poignancy. Undoubtedly a final highlight and a personal favourite from the whole album. The playlist in full is fascinating and easy to listen through more than a couple of times in one sitting.