As I alluded to previously, the work of my friend John Gold is important and special to me for a garden variety of reasons: set, setting, people, experiences.
I was constantly jamming songs from Cryptiquotes, Gold’s debut release from 2007, during a strange, transformative period in my life from 2006 to 2009. I’m not the type of person to make sweeping, hyperbolic generalizations like “I wouldn’t be where I am today without his music” or outlandish claims like “His music saved my life!” – or really, anything along the lines of being so melodramatic.
What I will say though, is that I will forever cling to the memories of summer nights in the tri-county area where songs like “Air in my Lungs” and “Safe Steady Slow” were the soundtrack.
I guess my fondness for Gold’s work has a lot to do with our paralleling maturations. On a personal level, John and I have both grown so damn much as people in the last 7 years. While I think we have retained a lot of our old personality traits, we’re better now than we were then (And better looking, too).
And while I don’t have any music recordings of how I’ve developed over the years, JG does. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
Cryptiquotes is the starting point for his work, and contains three of my all-time favorites of his: both of the aforementioned tracks, and this record’s closer, “Welcome to My Mind,” which may be the most succinct revelation as to Gold’s mindset at the time of this recording.
If anything, I’m grateful for this record because it shows that independent music is strong. That a passionate and soulful teenager could work on honing his craft, then playing shows to support it, with eventual distribution and tours. In a lot of ways, it’s a classic success story.
Meanwhile, back in 2013, I’m enthralled with Gold’s latest work: ARTHUR UNKNOWN. And though, as of this writing, I’m not “traditionally” employed by a website or publication to review, I will still be doing a write-up for my own site soon.
Because that’s the model now. Do it yourself.
It can be done. And John Gold has shown that time and time again.
From Cryptiquotes, this is an inspiring live performance of “Air in my Lungs” –
Standout tracks: “Welcome to My Mind” and “Safe Steady Slow”
Weakest track: Each one of these has a unique memory. So, no. I can’t even object to “Intro” because it’s haunting and emotive for being a melange of samples.
RIYL: Singer-songwriters. Soul music. Not the funky kind, but the ones who put their heart into it because it’s all they can do. Not for money or the adoration of fellow humans. But because they need to do it.