B.E Godfrey | Wild Desperation
by Tom Johnson
We’ve all learned not to judge a book by its cover, such is the frequency with which the phrase is repeated, however ‘don’t judge a record by its title‘ isn’t quiet so readily heard so we can be forgiven for doing so. Sometimes the name of the record can throw you way off, especially when we impart our own vexations and reflections upon the images it conjures up. Wild Desperation is one such example of this. Two words that throw-up visions of rabid, wide-eyed distress, of flailing limbs and overtly heartfelt grasps. Take a deep breath then, for the new EP from B. E Godfrey is anything but untamed. There is desperation here, sure, but it’s considered. It’s meaningful and it has its place within a world that so often breeds it. It’s also a desperation that is channeled to startlingly great effect on an EP which is among one of the most affecting to emerge this year.
Opening track ‘Get Your Gun‘ just about throws you off the scent completely, with it’s funky backdrop of shuffling percussion, thick bass lines and moonlit vocals. Listen hard enough though and you’ll hear something else, a muted counterpoint to the gleaming surface, patiently waiting for a chance to envelop. And as soon as that track departs, the sense of longing and discouragement fully takes over. ‘It Was The Wind‘ marks a complete shift of a tone, a temperament brought in on the back of a breeze that carries a sadness in every ounce of breath it can muster.
It works though. It works beautifully in fact. Godfrey’s voice was made for these songs, the cracks it houses mirroring the tearing at the seams he confronts throughout the rest of the five tracks. ‘Regret‘ is a gorgeous meeting of voice and strings, while ‘Into The Abyss‘ is darker still, “no name on my grave, my paradise awaits” he sings as strings are plucked and the yearning vocals gently saunter on.
Closing track ‘Words Like Poison‘ is the real show-stopper here though. A faded electric guitar sings gently as Godfrey confronts many a demon; the sense of real-world sadness reminiscent of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy at his most translucent and vivid. It’s a noteworthy farewell from a small collection of songs that may well cast a despondent shadow across the rest of your Summer. Steady yourself and climb in to the dark.
Wild Desperation is out now on tape/download via Chill Mega Chill.
Buy it here.