Chris Marshall & The August Light
Produced by: In Music We Trust
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The lead singer of the Portland, Oregon-based band Chris Marshall & The August Light was a preacher’s son, raised on gospel and music by artists like Keith Greene and Amy Grant. In high school, he was introduced to emo, country, hip-hop and rock and roll. He began playing in various bands, never quite nailing down his niche until creating an EP called Starting Out. I was first introduced to Marshall’s music with his first full length album, August Light, and was surprised how well-put-together the music sounded, a country style with heartfelt vocals and lyrics. I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to listen to a new album from Chris Marshall - Some Kind of Dream.
Instead of keeping with the country style of August Light, Some Kind of Dream is a mix of genres like folk, rock and country. There’s a gruffness to Marshall’s vocals that is immediately appealing. The first track Feel Like Running, has a rock/country feel and is sort of a plea to someone to take his hand lift him up from his struggles in life. A Thing Like That offers up a psychedelic sound accompanying lyrics in which the singer reminds his lover that he isn’t exactly perfect. The title track, Some Kind of Dream, is a sad, trippy sort of song in which Marshall sings about a moment in life in which everything is numb…perhaps after a hard loss or great pain…when you wonder when you are ever going to wake.
The rest of the album continues on this dark track. Though the music will slowly tend toward the upbeat, the messages of the songs come from a dark, sometimes downright depressing, state. I wonder just what Marshall was going through when creating this album. Whatever it was, it definitely had an effect on his writing and on my feelings about this album. I loved the music, but was kind of depressed by the lyrics.
This is not to say that Some Kind of Dream isn’t good, just something I was made so sad by that I probably wouldn’t want to keep playing it over and over. Here’s hoping that the next album by Chris Marshall & The August Light is a bit more on the fun, uplifting side.