Story is the first part of David Bronson’s lengthy 22-song cycle broken into 2 albums, a collective called The Long Lost Story.
Lyrically and conceptually this is fairly standard singer-songwriter fare dealing with love and loss, but there’s an impressive depth to the musicianship (most notably the inspired guitar playing) displayed on the album, and the fact that Bronson has achieved such a wealth of sound on such a tight budget is testament to his creativity and insight. At various times there are splashes of Jeff Buckley, Beck and the more leftfield Eels material present in Bronson’s sound; indeed he actually sits perfectly in this pack of experimental and musically gifted songwriters.
As Bronson himself recently stated, the album outgrew itself, mutating along the way into something larger than a one-off release. “It became a metaphor and conduit for everything I was feeling in my inner life, and I put everything into it,” he explains. “I indulged myself to get everything the way I wanted; the art of it became the only thing that mattered.”
Traces of Neil Young and George Harrison’s solo material are also evident and gel nicely with the more experimental alt-folk sound that threads through this lo-fi release. Legendary producer and mix engineer Godfrey Diamond (Lou Reed, Aerosmith, Sparks) has done a phenomenal job of mixing Story and assisting Bronson with the polishing of the album, delivering a finished product that sounds highly professional and full bodied, whilst retaining the charm and warmth of a DIY release. The album does sound ‘of a time’ – not to say that it’s outdated, but it certainly stands out amongst new releases as a more distinguished affair. It’s a considered and mature release that has clearly been a labour of love for the creator, sometimes veering too close to a monotonous similarity between the tracks but always saved before tipping over by satisfyingly different tracks like the funk-laden ‘The Ones’.
Story definitely marks David Bronson out as a gifted musician and songwriter, but isn’t quite enough to cement him as a superstar – here’s hoping the second half of the opus delivers the sucker punch.
Released: Tue 8th Jan 2013