Have you ever listened to an album and just started crying because it was so good? No? Well, you better check out Chris Gostling and The Tempo’s new record. Breath, Blood & Tempo will make you curl up into a ball on the floor and bawl like the little bitch you are. There is something so fantastic and soulful about the connection that their work can make with the very depths of a person, that you lose all ability to grasp it with any form of logic. That is when raw emotion takes over; y’know, the hysterical sobbing that leaves you incapacitated and your significant other extremely confused when they find you later on.
This band has found a sound that is so full, yet simple in its construction. The guitar, bass, drums, and violin all work together so well, forming this instrumental cohesion which Chris Gostling’s folky angelic, folky rasp of a voice floats over. For this record, John Dinsmore is also credited for his banjo, mandolin, and guitar work, which helped to round the record out with new flavours, but even without those touches, the sound is full. The opening track “Scattering Of Stars” comes in soft and develops into a musical euphoria. I’ve heard this track played live, but the recording is something different; not played differently, it is just fresh and defined. The accents, instead of getting muddied in a venue’s sound system, stand out loud and clear, and it goes to show that the mixing was done quite successfully.
Andrew Procter’s violin work is beautifully laid over top, and always comes in at the right moments. “Water and Its Edge” is a perfect example of this. The track is one of many highlights, and drummer Justin Cathcart holds the rhythm down nicely in it. He never overdoes it with fancy fills, and that sets the tone for everyone. This record isn’t some fancy show of music. Instead, it is a raw experience of music and emotion. Bassist Adam McNeill’s backing vocals are brilliant. His harmonies are subtle, but blend so well with Gostling’s voice and accent all the right emotional swells. Their cohesion is masterfully displayed on my favourite track, “Slow Divide.” This track is stocked full of bittersweet emotion, and is a song I returned to frequently because of how impeccable Gostling’s guitar work is and how his voice just pulls at you. If you were only going to listen to a single track from this album, this is the one I would pick. However I would strongly disagree with that choice, because you need to listen to the whole record, from start to finish, at least ten times.
Breath, Blood & Tempo is a folky, country-esque, bluesy record that is stuffed with an experience you will regret not being a part of.
Written by Danielle Kenedy
*edited by Kate Erickson