Good Good Blood’s new album ‘At Your Mercy’ (order via Bandcamp here) finds James Smith once again offering poignant, emotional words over atmospheric bursts of guitar and piano.
Opener ‘All These Days’ has choral vocals and lyrics about waiting for something to happen and trying to find the right thing to say, while the shoegazing ‘Sanctuary Mornings’ is more melodic and full of nature references (‘the sun’s in the trees’) as James suggests ‘Do it with a smile’. ‘Flowers Bloom’ is a happy-sad song about how the world keeps going, even when you’re confronted with death while ‘It’s Burning Down’ is an evocative six minutes that features hushed vocals with a sinister edge: ‘Learn to listen to your brothers, learn to listen to yourself’.
We were reminded of ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ while listening to ‘For a Little While’ with its incidental and static domestic noises (doors creaking etc) and powerful pleas: ‘Please, won’t you help me find a tray or minute piece of mind’; ‘We all know the world has gone blind’. There is talk of different seasons in ‘Say Goodbye’ with its tender, loving messages: ‘I’m a flame that burns in the winter, warms your insides’; ‘How can some people love so freely and undeserving?’ ‘Tomorrow Has You Made’ finds James urging you to ‘come along and sing that song’ before the closing couplet of Plini-style ‘Flaming Pumpkin Head’ and ‘Is This the Life?’ show intelligent and melodic sensibilities, albeit shrouded in sadness.
‘At Your Mercy’ is a record that finds Good Good Blood’s James Smith laying thoughts and feelings bare in a riveting, raw way.