Sunday 21 July 2019

Lachlan Denton & Studio Magic - A Brother

During sessions of sweet silent thought Lachlan Denton summons remembrance of his brother Zachary (“quiet and painfully shy”), his bandmate in Ciggie Witch and The Ocean Party, who died last year at the age of 24.

A Brother is a profoundly moving, emotionally bruising and tender album about love, loss and the unbreakable ties that bind their relationship (“I carry your songs, your blood runs through me”).

The songs are elegies (“a brother and best friend, I love you to the end), they’re tributes and desperately devotional. Over the album’s course, the joys of companionship are contrasted with grief (“this Christmas I won’t be alone, I’ll be with the ones you loved so much”) in an episodic invocation of a life of love and friendship.

How Lachlan has responded so eloquently, so quickly, with such grace suggests not only the love but that their relationship, and Zac himself, offered so rich a palette that inspiration appeared readily.

A Brother doesn’t exactly lay waste to the Dentons’ back catalogue, but it’s better - more powerful, fresher, rawer - than what’s come before. Musically, it rubs shoulders with Wilco’s best. On love and loss, it’s there with Blood On The Tracks and Tonight’s The Night.

This is a record that had to be made. Without A Brother, all that’s left in death is silence. With A Brother, which will live long, there is celebration.

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