“An explorer’s guide to human suffering / By slimming it down to its barebones” sings Thomas Charlie Pedersen in the opening lines of his song “The Meriwether Pull,” one of the star tracks of the new record Daylight Saving Hours, with every word that he serenades us with carrying a weight as heavy as his heart so clearly is. Pedersen, whether having meant to or not, delivers some of the most chilling vocal harmonies of any you’ll hear out of his scene this season in Daylight Saving Hours, but frankly, they’re not the sole source of magic on this amazing LP.
Lyrics are a strong point of interest in “Must Be the World,” “Green Plateau” and “Faithful Mistress,” but in powerful piano instrumentals like the title track and “The Witty Moniker,” there’s no argument as to whether or not the keys are offering up just as much emotion as any of Pedersen’s words could (and do). Don’t get me wrong – the string play in “The World is Not Your Oyster” and “Stay True” made me shiver, but there’s something entirely unique about the piano parts in this record, which might be the best you’re going to find in a folk album right now.
There’s not a ton of rhythm to the bulk of the songs in Daylight Saving Hours, but that doesn’t prevent the light sway of “Sad to See You Go,” “At the End of the Day” and “The Freewheeler” any less memorable. Melodicism, in all of its rich forms, is the most important element for us to appreciate in this LP, and if we’re to properly understand its role here, we have to abandon a lot of popular notions about what contemporary acoustic pop and folk is supposed to look, sound and, ultimately, feel like.
Thomas Charlie Pedersen, Category: Artist, Albums: Daylight Saving Hours, Second Hand War, Top Tracks: Must Be the World, Stay True, To a First Love, Daylight Saving Hours, Movables, Biography: I am a folky singer/songwriter from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Pedersen’s approach to producing is as unparalleled as his songwriting style is in some ways, and I like that he was evenhanded with all of the different instrumental mechanics in “Moveables,” “To a First Love,” the latter of which had the potential to be the most stoic track on the record. There’s a sharp edge in “Must Be the World” and “Blood Moon” that is perfectly preserved, and although it might have made more sense commercially to scoop out the EQ on the piano in the titular song, I actually think it’s a little more provocative in how it’s presented here.
If what Thomas Charlie Pedersen has made for us in Daylight Saving Hours is along the lines of what he’s planning on creating in and out of the studio in the next four years, I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to record next. This album was made in collaboration with his talented brother Daniel Pedersen, and I sincerely hope it isn’t the last time that they work together professionally. They have a chemistry that can’t be reproduced, and with all of the skill they show us here, it would really be a shame for this to be the only instance where they made outstanding music together.