LeE HARVeY OsMOND
Scarily Atmospheric Canadiacana
I had only previously been aware of Le Harvey Osmond because of the wacky way he spells his name; but during my recent convalescence my friend Lorna in the colony of Canada inundated me with You Tube videos to aid my recovery; and once I’d made the mistake of saying I ‘liked’ one of Osmond’s songs I went on to receive pretty much his whole back catalogue; so perhaps by the time I received this actual album I was already brain-washed.
Halfway through opening song Loser Without Your Love it’s evident that LHO aka Tom Wilson from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, ain’t no ordinary singer-songwriter. The lyrics alone are rather lovely; but the instrumentation glides between Van Morrison, Chris Isaak and; if you were lucky enough to hear his albums, Billy Bob Thornton.
On Blue Moon Drive there’s even a Nightclub-Jazz feel as Osmond’s vocals are smoky and breathless as a funky bass, brass section and even a xylophone tinkle away in the background.
I even found myself doing a little shuffle as I made a pot of tea when listening to the enigmatic Black Spruce; and the occasional flute solos have to be heard to be believed.
The only track here to hint at Osmond’s day job in Blackie and the Rodeo Kings is Hey Hey Hey; but that’s only because I know that fact, otherwise it is just a great piece of atmospheric Alt. Country done in the way only Canadians know how to do.
Shake The Hand opens with some feedback before a band slowly drifts in as Osmond uses echo on his voice in a way that will scare small children; but not me – I love it and could listen to a whole album in the same manner.
Billy Bob Thornton again springs to mind on the dark and menacing How Does It Feel? Osmond’s deep voice, piano and the piercing slide guitar juxtapose in an intricately clever way; making the song especially memorable.
On the final track Osmond almost drifts into bedsitter-songwriter territory on Bottom of Our Love; but his warm baritone voice and gorgeous duet with Andrea Ramolo makes it extraordinarily good ; and had me gagging to hear more.
LeE HARVeY OsMOND ? Well worth seeking out in my humble opinion.
Released Canada 8th June 2015
Released USA and the Rest of the World March 25th 2016