I felt the greatest sense of community this month when Missed Connections Records asked us if we would be interested in an advanced copy of Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State‘s new album Late At Night. Guelph label. Guelph musician. Guelph publication. These are the relationships that make Guelph the live music mecca that it is. Our team have always been huge Alanna Gurr fans, so obviously we jumped at the chance to give it a listen.
Late At Night opens with “Swimmer”. A thoughtful song about reaching the maturity to fall in love that sets the stage and tone for the rest of the album. Water themes are used throughout Late At Night while the story of this budding relationship grows from a casual fling into an intense, but not always happy, relationship. I’m not saying that the whole record is about the same relationship but the arrangement of the songs suggests that it is.
Styles range from a bluesy garage, and a little bit country twang with “Golden Coast” having a kind of Doo-wop vibe. Late At Night also has some of the most understated and amazing slide guitar parts I’ve heard recently. As the narrator in first person, Alanna always keeps her vocals consistent and mellow. It’s soothing and forces the listener to pay attention to the words if they want to hear the full story. “Trouble” is one of my favourite songs on Late At Night. It’s got a ghostly, southern vibe that you could easily imagine being used for the closing credits of lasts season’s True Detective. There is no filler on Late At Night. Every song of this eight song album is in it’s place and each songs transitions into the next perfectly. At just under twenty-eight minutes the it’s short and sweet in the most complimentary way.
At times Late At Night might be a little dark or slow for some listeners. There are no upbeat pop songs here, but for anyone that loves song-craft and all it’s subtle nuances, Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State have created something special with Late At Night. I won’t tell you how the record and the story ends. You’ll have to listen to Late At Night yourself and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.
Get your copy of Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State‘s Late At Night at their Guelph album release show April 24th at The eBar with Jerry Leger & the Situation and Dear sister.