Album review: Luke Sital-Singh – A Golden State

Luke Sital-Singh's new album, A Golden State, is released on April 5.

Luke Sital-Singh's new album, A Golden State, is released on April 5. - Credit: Archant

Will third time mean the big time for the worrying pop-poet?

Recently upping sticks and leaving his Bristol home for LA, singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh could be forgiven for trading in his heartfelt soul-searching, worry and guilt for something wrought from relentless sunshine and manicured lawns.

While a lino cut of an idyllic Venice Beach canal does grace the cover (the work of his artist wife, the momentum behind their migration), it doesn’t appear to have lightened his mood any. Not necessarily bad news, of course.

Compared to his 2017 predecessor Time Is A Riddle, there is less drama and bombast on this radio-friendly third record, which works up a fragile intimacy from an investment in space and time, and appreciation of instruments’ natural beauty and warmth.

Sital-Singh capitalises on the softer, upper end of his vocal range, allowing the listener to dwell on some finely crafted and considered lyrics.

Two tracks were previewed last year as singles: Love Is Hard Enough Without The Winter is a bare-bones, finger-picked confessional, while The Last Day pairs guitar plucks with piano for a deceptively simple ditty dressing a touching reflection on the fleetingness of time and enduring love.

Current single Los Angeles, though, is a relatively unremarkable acoustic traipse – a bizarre choice given the fistful of superior alternatives available.

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Among the best is Silhouette, a warm, languorous guitar lick lapping against Sital-Singh’s downbeat, sighing tale of exhaustion, told with a lilting, touching chorus.

The soaring sign-off Heart’s Attach, the delicately haunting Almost Gone and afterlife love song Souvenir are just lovely, too – unassuming on first listen but revealing themselves as affecting and consummately put-together songs.

It’s still a puzzle why Sital-Singh hasn’t found the wider recognition he deserves; A Golden State is his best yet.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Luke Sital-Singh plays EartH on Monday, April 8. More details and tickets here.

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