Thomas Charlie Pedersen delivers Daylight Saving Hours (LP)
Beneath the rumbling of what could only be thunder on the horizon, acoustic guitar strings start piecing together a harmony that the vocal of Thomas Charlie Pedersen will complete only moments from now in “Stay True.” A hint of John Denver’s melodic drawl is present here, but there’s no denying that this is vintage Pedersen if there ever was such a thing – his voice, the way it battles for our affections with the guitar, everything here aches with an emotional intensity that is only ever implied in the strut of the music. When he’s picking up the pace with the instrumentation, like in the song “The Meriwether Pull,” he’s relaxing his execution at the microphone (and even lending some of the spotlight over to his brother Daniel). There’s contrast to the flow of “The World is Not Your Oyster” while we observe nothing but harmonious smooth sailing in “Blood Moon.” Where there are no lyrics, like in “The Witty Moniker,” there is tonality that speaks to the very soul of the listener, and when there are cunning verses present, such as there is in “Green Plateau,” they’re designed to complement the sway of the keys. The bottom line? Daylight Saving Hours is indie folk for grown-ups.
“Moveables” dabbles in psychedelic cues but never quite descends into the ambient soundscape that it could have been under the direction of another artist, and though it counters the compositional integrities of “Faithful Mistress” with haze over straight-up acoustic harmonization, I think we need both of these tracks to comprehend the deeper narrative Thomas Charlie Pedersen is attempting to impart to us here. His confidence is labored in songs like “At the End of the Day” and yet swaggering in “The Freewheeler,” and it’s in the slight aesthetical differences in these compositions that we learn the most about who this artist is behind the melodic masks he wears in Daylight Saving Hours. It takes the same amount of vulnerability to make the title track as it does the music video for “Must Be the World,” and in both instances (and all of the others here, for that matter), Pedersen is giving us everything he’s got and then some.
If “To a First Love” doesn’t touch your heart with its epic harmony, I’ve got a good feeling that what Pedersen and his brother conjure up in “Sad to See You Go” or at least one of the other twelve tracks on this record will. Daylight Saving Hours provokes a response out of anyone who opens up their arms to its at times broken and battered melodic confessions, and if you’re in the mood for an indie record that gives as much as it takes from its audience, this is an album that you just can’t afford to miss out on right now. Thomas Charlie Pedersen is a force to be reckoned with as a singer and as a songwriter, and in his new LP, he silences any and all critics who would wish to state anything different.