Tom Brosseau’s quiet folk on his latest record, Cavalier, is of the utmost sincerity, yet in its drifting splendor, shifts into tall tale.
Brosseau excels at the bittersweet ballads. “I Want To Make This Moment Last” and “Brand New Safe” are spacious, longing ballads that beg for the patience of a slowly plucked guitar that could tremble out of existence at any moment. In fact, Brosseau’s “nowhere to be, but with this guitar” style is the charm of this record. The world is shut out, there are no background sounds; there's simply Brosseau, his guitar, and the words that come to him.
Cavalier never deceives itself through Brosseau’s guitar, but, as the flippancy of the word suggests, his lyrics tend towards impossibility and tall storytelling. Perhaps none of these songs are autobiographical, but any element of danger or adventure Brosseau attempts to recollect comes off peculiarly, somewhat unreal, perhaps, well, cavalier. Brosseau finishes strong with “Kiss My Lips”. It's a song so sweet in its tender drum brush strokes and falsetto that it drips with the romance of trysts and young love.
Brosseau somewhat betrays his clear identity with Cavalier, making claims of a heart belonging to the sea, or offering empty threats of an unloaded gun beneath his bed. He might really pine for a kiss on the lips, but he remains too soft spoken to ever be a cunning horseman.