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Friday, April 12, 2013

Dan's Pick of the Week: Lost No Labor by Soft Cat

     Here’s a band that I only discovered recently after hearing about their upcoming second release. I would identify Soft Cat as “Nature Folk” from their previous album, Wild Spaces. Their music is absolutely captivating, especially for anyone who craves for a calm, warming sound that is fulfilled with various instrumentation and arrangement. The songs may sound a bit simpler to some listeners, but everything is artfully placed and meant to be reflected upon. There is so much to take in with the depth of this music and the story that it carries.
     For Lost No Labor, Soft Cat is working with the Human Kindness Overflowing Organization to donate a hundred percent of the album’s proceeds to the Whitelock Community Farm in Baltimore, Maryland (The city where the band originated). The generosity of this group of talented artists is inspiring in so many ways. It seems completely natural for this music to be a full contributor to the community. 
     Lost No Labor is a seven track album, only twenty-five minutes long. I will not deny that every song is in its right place, meaning that I cannot favor one over another.  “When It Breaks” begins with gradual introductions of the instruments. It then continues in a swirling motion, eventually meeting with Neil Sanzgiri’s vocals to create a lovely melody. The album moves on to “Sincerity”, a catchy tune that takes its time so one can enjoy every aspect of it. At more than one point the music stops and the listener is left with blissful sounds of nature. “New Waltz” is simply amazing. It starts as a folk-based tune with large bursts of reverb. Eventually, the song turns to a beautiful dance melody (hence the waltz), complete with a saxophone.
     The track, “Liminal”, was the first song I heard from Lost No Labor, and even though it is one of the shorter tracks on the album, it may be the catchiest. “All I Can See” is heartwarming and lively with great lyrics. “Goldmines” flows smoothly, mainly with guitar, but then adding occasional bursts of piano, as well as violin, flute and other various instruments. “Us In The Water” is only a minute and thirty seconds long, but between the a cappella entrance and the buildup of instrumentation, it is a great way to close the album. 
     Lost No Labor drives in a way that makes one feel right at home with the music. The calmness an artful display of it all is brilliantly done. Most importantly, this album carries a sense of refuge in a world that is surrounded by too much gray. Soft Cat says that it’s frightful to live with, but we still need to live on. 

For more details visit their bandcamp page!

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