19 May 2022

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Glenn Bodger - Album Review: I'll Leave The Light On

16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Here we have the debut solo album from Glenn Bodger, who provided most of the instrumentation himself, although he has also been assisted by former Braintree bandmate Darryn Harkness, who helped with additional guitar, bass and keyboards where required. From the gentle, almost cautiously picked acoustic guitar notes on opener I’ll Leave The Light On, we are brought carefully into a world which is dated yet fresh, comfortable but new, as he mixes together different musical elements in an independent, alternative style which is often somehow commercial and others when they are definitely not. Looking for some musical comparisons? How about mixing Blur with Mumford & Sons and folk while also bringing in healthy doses of NZ-style Americana?

There is a lot going on here, but the arrangements feel free and uncluttered with space being an incredibly important element. Both Glenn and Darryn sound incredibly relaxed, as if there were no pressure during the recording which allowed them to really get into the flow and feel the music working through them. There is a passion and honesty which resonates with the listener, ensuring they want to stay on the journey through to the end. The most recent of the three singles taken from the album is the wonderfully titled All's Well Down Orwell's Well, which gets me every time I play it. It is a more up-tempo number, with some lovely psychedelic organ that makes it feel very dated indeed, but after he sings the words staying silent, it literally stops for a second with no warning, and each time, I look at the player to see if it is still working. That is just one of the elements which makes this such a fun album to listen to.

It is lo-fi and boutique, alternative and really real, and when an old slide gets brought into Saviour, one just says, why not? There are definitely touches which are reminiscent here and there of some of Jack White’s solo material, and one can easily imagine this taking place in an old barn somewhere. There is an earnestness and drive which is often missing from the mass created pap churned out by so many large record labels, combined with a grit and feeling of connection. The album is based around the acoustic guitar, and there are times when it is simply beautiful, creating very special moments and there are others where the ear is drawn to the vocals, to the great hooks and melodies being created. Glenn lives in Christchurch these days, but is originally from Auckland, so I can only hope that when the COVID madness is over he will come back up to his old stomping ground as this is a great album and I very much look forward to catching him perform it live.

If you enjoy real songs created in a folk/Americana/Alternative base with wonderful melodies, then this is for you.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Glenn Bodger

Originally from Auckland, Glenn Bodger is a Christchurch based alternative singer-songwriter who dabbles in the field of patchwork music videos and films. Once upon a time, Bodger was lead vocalist in Auckland band Braintree (EP released with Wildside Records).

Debut album I'll Leave The Light On to be released September 17th 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Glenn Bodger


I'll Leave The Light On
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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