REVIEW: Lindy Vopnfjord’s “State of the Heart” is Brilliant Simplicity


Lindy Vopnfjord – State of the Heart

Obviously Canadian/Icelandic artist, Lindy Vopnfiord, having recorded an 8th LP has his admirers. He has one more. 

The meticulous perfectionist, crafts interesting stories with his music. To appreciate this, despite some controversial subject matter, you need only sample it. There’s good music here. Lindy doesn’t attempt to ruffle feathers. He sets the stage early with “this was meant to be a protest song/but the politics were wrong/not a time to be sublime/let’s leave the politics behind.”

Songs do involve environmental issues, human rights & community action with a modern twist on folk. 

The beautifully recorded “State of the Heart,” has a traditional old-English fiddle sound. To my ears Lindy’s voice is pop-oriented but as applied — can’t deny he doesn’t possess a purist sound. The LP State of the Heart (Independent – drops May 22) maintains a definitive authenticity both in its musical showcase & Lindy’s performance. 

“Breathe,” tends to get away from folksiness & skips along in a more commercial pop vein. That’s not a bad thing. The drum stylization is interesting with an under the surface clarinet sound that swims muffled under the percussion. It’s followed by a sprightly ballad mindful of the late Clifford T. Ward, whose earlier melodic tunes (“Gaye,” & “Wherewithal”) are similar in spirit instrumentally. The orchestrations decorate a song like “Can We Still Be Lovers,” effectively.

The wonderful “Won’t You Come & See Me Sometime,” has harmonica, & Lindy sings in the popular songwriter style of Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”). A little smokier in tone “Letters,” is a well-crafted lyric in the tradition of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s old-fashioned style. “Maybe the Sun,” continues with Lindy’s expressive voice.

“Cutting Room Floor,” is typically commercial but too Euro-pop in flavor. Costume jewelry among jewels. Way too many lalala’s & better suited to another era. 

Lindy redeems himself with the gorgeous & realistically sad “Until I Have to Let You Go.” This is a masterpiece. A gentle tale about a father’s thoughts as he teaches his child to ride a bike. How the words “until I have to let you go,” is applied between letting go of the back of a bike, to when he has to really let go of his child. This is memorable. 

How many songwriters take time to explore poignantly such a difficult time in one’s life? I think it’s brilliant in its simplicity. Enough to swell tears in a parent’s eyes.

Follow this with Cat Steven’s “Father & Son,” & David Knopfler’s “Gone Fishing,” (where a father tells his boss he won’t be in to work that day – because he’s going fishing with his son).

There was no individual musician info. The 10-track CD was produced by Danny Michel. Available at Bandcamp & Lindy’s website.

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