(2019 - self release - UK)
DLM are a band to rest your weary soul with, making gentle and delicate music, and their 'Night Fishing' is a string of pearls to bathe your grief and heal your wounds. A second premium release by ex-member of Stackridge/The Korgis, Andrew Cresswell Davis (guitars, ukulele, vocals, and harmonium), Clare Lindley, also once a member of Stackridge, plus former member of Kooch, Sunna, Green, and so many guest spots, (violin, ukulele, vocals) and Brian Mullan, also formerly of Kooch, and a slew of studio musician gigs (cello, vocals). All the tracks were arranged by DLM with additional string parts by David Lord.
Even more intimate and soothing than their debut (self titled - 2017), these twelve songs give any Stackridge fan some territory to witness that finesse, that sheer wealth of constant class of songwriting, and simple but sublime music, not only from Andy Davis, but one from the exquisite drummer/songwriter Eddie John (with later day Stackridge). You also get a couple of covers ('Lectric Chair' - track #11 by George Brooks) and the famous 'Because' (Lennon/McCartney). Then an oldie but wonderful all instrumental redo off Stackridge 'Extravaganza' - 1974, 'Who's That Up There With Bill Stokes' (Bowkett/Davis). It is all pretty much like a new Stackridge album with no drums/percussion or winds - but nevertheless, a fabulous whirl of grand tunes to tickle the fancy of a more basic acoustic, real time and heartfelt set of golden treasures from veterans who are some of the best musicians ever to write and perform sovereign pop songs and ballads.
Andrew Davis (always referred to as Andy in Stackridge times) has always been a specialist in writing those spare heartbreakers, whether about innocent animals or distraught humans, finding themselves in peril, in a cold and careless world. Clare Lindley adds lead vocals in such a collective and complete way (such as 'Just So You Know' - track #6, and 'Champagne' - track #8), you feel like melting in your chair. Remakes like 'If I Had You' (track #7 - originally on The Korgis debut self titled album - 1979) , while more sparse, adds cello and sweet backing chorus to a rejoiceful result.
The same beautiful quaintness of the first DLM continues with 'Night Fishing' , with perhaps a more settled, delightful, and prominent calm - a sweet contentment. Once you get to 'The Ghost of Love (track #9), the essence of the message seems to speak loud. The memories, the sadness, the wisdom, and the state of existence is painfully described, even with resignation. And just at the perfect moment, the Lennon/McCartney cover 'Because' is there, with rueful cello, accompanied by acoustic guitar, keeping an all instrumental beauty of nearly three minutes. Chased by the blues cover 'Lectric Chair', with Clare on vocals, the album is almost done, but the tears will flow again. The finale track 'Always Never Lasts Forever', written by Davis, is as ardent and unselfish as anything he has ever written. Brilliant, full of penance, and unrivaled in the tranquil way only Andy can pen a tune about manifestation. Beautiful cover art and more than beautiful music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 6 - 25 - 2019