Dreams To Sleep By (PEDF117) the beautiful, expansive sophomore release by Geoff Smith and Pedigree Cuts founder Elliot Ireland has finally arrived. A haunting collection of contemporary piano ballads that gradually unfurl into widescreen indie epics, there is a deeply positive and valedictory thread running throughout the album that is unashamedly inspiring. Tracks from the duo’s previous outing, ‘Dawn Songs‘ such as ‘Palm Reader’ (watch) and ‘The Dawn Song’ (watch) were much synced and ‘Dreams To Sleep By’ is surely set to find an even wider audience.
The album begins with the pleading, emotive ‘Days Of Our Father’. A paternal paean that wends it’s way in a gentle yet forceful manner on a bed of insistent, building percussion before suddenly giving way to a heartbreaking orchestral outro.
‘Asleep At The Wheel’ is spectacular. Cinematic slider guitar crashes against subtle electronics, framing Geoff’s elegant piano and vocal performance beautifully. The atmosphere builds before giving way to a languorous exit that suggests reflection upon an emotional event.
The playfully titled ‘Building Inertia’ explores it’s countering name in an uplifting and joyful manner. Geoff’s sonorous, pleading intro explodes into an emotional coda that incorporates a youthful female voice to provide a beautiful, unexpected contrast.
‘Chasing it Down’ is the album’s emotional focal point. A cinematic and allegorical duet that employs atmospheric guitars to provide an enigmatic wash of mystery. Sublimely universal in intent and delivery, this is tailor made for scenes of great poignancy.‘Snow Day’ reprises the core of yearning that’s so compelling in these recordings. Unhurried, contemplative and enriching, this is a mantra of hope set to a singular and redemptive chord progression. Recalling iconic folk pioneers such as Nick Drake, Geoff’s soulfulness shines through on this intense and expressive piece.