Conor Gains drops LP
After spending years developing a signature sound out of the ashes of countless creative influences, Conor Gains is treating us to his most refined and exquisite recordings to date, in the new solo full length record, Compass, which as its name implies, seems to act as a beacon towards hope in the cloudy climate of contemporary music. A compelling mixture of funk, psychedelic riffs, rhythm and blues and an almost gothic duality in his vocals, Conor doesn’t hold back in giving us everything that we crave out of a good record. It is not an irrational statement to suggest that Compass might be the most well-rounded release of 2018, and perhaps also the most exciting.
Compass is the official label debut for Conor, following up his self-released Run Away with the Night, a record that garnered immense praise from critics and music fans alike. An intense touring schedule followed, and according to Conor himself, the inspiration to compose even more had never been stronger. Out of over a hundred different compositions started, here are his self-proclaimed best ten tracks he’s developed since Run Away, and indeed they are nothing short of poignant and enthralling. From the New Orleans style grooves and hip-shaking rhythm in “Dance Like it’s Your Birthday,” to the hauntingly beautiful “I’ve Been Looking for Your Heart,” which trots into. Dylan territory with its pointed self-analysis and sunset-like organ moans.
There are so many layers and climaxes to Compass that getting immersed in the record for hours on end is not out of the question. I found myself scanning repeat listens to find little treasures in every track, small instrumental contributions I had perhaps missed at first glance. There is simply such a rich plethora of content that Compass has to offer that one would be hard pressed to ever get bored with its artistry. The shards of jazz discord and funeral march in “In My Head” cleverly parallel the lyrical discussion of mortality in the song, with the experimental bits mimicking our most earnest attempts at youthful individuality. Simply stunning. It has come to my attention that if the world is to survive going into the 2020’s, then it will take a revolution that will be led by the soul singers to unite us and get us to that next higher plain of thought and consciousness. I don’t know how anyone else in the R&B community feels, but I think Conor Gains is going to be playing a pivotal role in any such revolution. It’s safe to say that after Compass, Conor’s not only earned his stripes as a talented and tested performer and working craftsman, but he has in fact imprinted a new attitude in the genre; one that prides itself on artistic evolution as much as it does holding true to its roots.
You can find out more about Conor Gains, Compass, and the entirety of his impeccably catalogue by logging onto his official website or visiting his official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Thomas Patton, III approved by Jamie Morse