Written for his wife, three years in the making, For Sarah is a simple, low key, introspective collection of musical vignettes, recalling the good times shared as a way to help her deal with the grief and loss following a succession of family bereavements.
As you’d imagine, while they may have been prompted by dark times, the songs are suffused with light and fortitude, opening with ‘Spencer Park’ and a memory of “the night we were dancing under a sunlight disco ball” and he pledged his forever love. The minimal folk blues ‘She’s The One’ variously finds them on a train, driving through mountains and lying in their hotel room, as, backed by double bass, violin and cello, he tells how “she’s the one that saved me from a lifetime of regret”.
Moving on, played on classical acoustic guitar, the six-minute ‘Lady’ is another declaration of love, a pastoral mood coloured by cello, while, again caressed by strings, ‘And Around Again’ celebrates surrendering to love and the musically minimalist semi-spoken ‘First Light’ looks back to life before he met her, seeing her across the dancefloor, when he was “so lost and alone”.
Closing with first the classical strings arrangement of the instrumental ‘Bae Ceredigion Air’ which leads into the serene, mutedly played, ‘Bae Ceredigion’ itself, which for the non-Welsh speakers, is Cardigan Bay, ending with another violin enrobed romantic memory (“You asked me if I was alright as we kissed under the Welsh moonlight”), though I can’t help thinking the melody reminds me of piano staple ‘Chopsticks’.
Highly personal, intimate and never really deviating from the meditative mood, pacing and low key, nondramatic arrangements (though there are weather effects on the slow waltzing, trumpet-shaded instrumental ‘Sunday Night Rain’ and, another, ‘Sunflower Zen Blues’ is a piano accompanied showcase for cello and violin), For Sarah is an album that requires immersive listening (and as such seems one for the Nick Drake – Gregory Alan Isokov audience) to be fully appreciated.
Artist’s website: www.kennethjnash.com
‘And Around Again’ – live: