Connor Garvey Contrasts Sweet and Somber Folk on ‘Another End of a Year’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Photo credit: Lauryn Hottinger

On Connor Garvey’s eighth effort, Another End of a Year, he manages to weave a soundtrack that vacillates between sweet and somber folk packed with emotion. The result is remarkably effective thanks to Garvey’s knack for writing lyrics that get to the core of some of our most vulnerable feelings.

His second single off the album, “Water to the Well,” for example, tackles depression but in a truly unique fashion, from the point of view of someone watching a loved one struggle and feeling helpless despite doing everything to try and fix the situation. The lyrics are stark and relatable, brilliantly capturing the pain and frustration of the situation. “Depression and self-antagonism are corrosive to one’s life” he said recently in talking about the song. “These clouds can overshadow the most important of times.”

The title track, a beautiful standout song, is another strong emotional plea for forgiveness (“I’m sorry I always let you down/I’m sorry it keeps coming round/To how I shoot for the moon/But fall to the ground”). Delivered with Garvey’s earnest, rich vocals the song is wildly effective. The album closes on “Shine, Shine, Shine,” a musically stark, but sweet and optimistic lullaby that that adds to the album’s emotional heft and beautiful caps the record.

Another End of a Year is Garvey’s first full length release since 2014, written and recorded between some pretty significant life moments for the Maine singer including the birth of his children, moves, and a global pandemic. But the delay clearly did nothing to stop his momentum or dull his musical instincts as it manages to be possibly his most powerful record yet. There is a cohesiveness and maturity to these songs that clearly benefited from a slew of major life experience that come with age. Garvey plans on taking these songs on the road playing a handful of festivals through the end of the summer.  

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