Goodbye Berlin by Pat Dam Smyth showcases both strength and vulnerability; yet rather as dichotomy it comes together in yin and yang balance. Erudite, but still accessible.
Smyth’s sound follows melodic trends set by artists such as Father John Misty, and The National. Lyrically, he taps into classic formulas set forth by giants like Dylan, Cohen, and Neil Young. This particular brand of songwriting denotes longevity of career. A great song is a great song no matter when it was written, right? Pat Dam Smyth proves he has the chops to join the greats.
Examples of this comparison include ‘Emily’ which bears similarities to Bob Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat. ‘Judgement Day’ has Smyth channelling Leonard Cohen in this sung-spoken tale while title track, ‘Goodbye Berlin’, reminiscent of the earnest vocal delivery of Neil Young.
The track you want (and believe me, you won’t be able to get it out of your head, anyway) is ‘Juliette’, a provocative and disconsolate fairy tale spun with threads of discordant notes, steady alt-blues growls and moans, and an unexpectedly hooky chorus. ‘Blue Lights’ is the cool down track, melodically speaking, lyrically reads like a contemporary Seamus Heaney poem.
Impressing critics nationally and internationally – case in point – I am anxious to witness the continued momentum of this exceptional artist.