With a confident strum and a vibrant vocal to lead the way, “This Moment On” gets Dave Vargo’s Spaces in Between in motion on a high note and leaves a trail of glistening harmonies in its wake. Though rooted in classical Americana and pop-friendly folk/rock, “This Moment On” doesn’t feel generic or recycled from the past in any way. The track is carried forward by its progressive songwriting style and uniquely introspective words of Mr. Dave Vargo himself, who broke the mold in making this latest record his very best yet.
“Rewrites” has an almost countrified swing to its percussive base, but even when the drums are kicking up a Texas-sized twister of tonality, they just can’t steal the spotlight away from the unvarnished lead vocal in this track. The same can be said for the ballad “Nowhere Else,” but in both this song and the much-buzzed single “Battle Burns,” the guitars arguably take on just as much of a starring role as Vargo’s voice does. This is full-color folk/rock and best of all, it comes to us free of the saccharine self-righteousness that has plagued the genre on a broad scale in recent years.
“Someday” picks up where “This Time Around” left off and completes the unfinished volley of melodies with a heartfelt harmony that aches no matter how many times you’ve heard it before. “In Between” essentially extends the chills of its predecessor in the tracklist and provides us a perfect bridge into the unforgettably intimate “Tracks,” which I found to be one of the most well-rounded songs. Each of these tracks bleeds emotionality, but what they offer is but a drop in the bucket compared to what the album’s final bow does.
Spaces in Between comes to a conclusion with the “Alex Chilton”-esque melody of “Miles Upon Your Heart” and the sluggish sway of “Not Alone,” and in these two songs we hear what amounts to near-perfect performances from Dave Vargo that were stunningly recorded in high definition sound. I loved this record from the moment I pressed play on “This Moment On,” but it wasn’t until I heard this pair of provocative ballads that I realized just how significant a release this is for the aforementioned singer/songwriter. He’s submitted some truly breathtaking work before, but as far as I’m concerned, Spaces in Between is his greatest (and bravest) assortment of songs ever released.