Gilded Prayer is the latest release from Minnesota band David Lindstrom. The brainchild of singer/songwriter Matt Nelson, David Lindstrom’s newest album mixes together folk, indie, and rock influences to create a fairly eclectic seven-song album. Gilded Prayer is an interesting listen, though the concept behind the album is ultimately a little more ambitious than the final product itself.
For reference, here’s what David Lindstrom had to say about this release. “Gilded Prayer is a concept album about identity. The music and lyrics are written to reflect and mirror themselves across the album’s palindromic track list.” The “palindromic track list” part refers to the running time of each song going 9 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, 6 minutes, 9 minutes. With that in mind, let’s get into things.
The album starts off with what I feel is one of David Lindstrom’s best songs, “Late Night Existential Requiem.” The sombre guitar melody that repeats at various points throughout the song acts as more of an anchor than anything, with a good deal of the percussion acting as more of a musical accompaniment than a foundation for the song. Throw in Matt Nelson’s melodramatic vocals and a few open, soundscape-y breaks in the track and “Late Night Existential Requiem” seemed to breeze through its nine-minute runtime. Some other standout moments on Gilded Prayer include the American Football-esque guitar work throughout “Cheval Glass” and the diverse instrumentation and vocals on the song “DrownInword.” David Lindstrom is quite tasteful with their experimentation throughout the album, mostly managing to keep things fresh throughout all seven tracks.
Gilded Prayer is an ambitious album. I can appreciate trying to do something different, but there were moments that lacked substance. The minimalist vocals and keyboard that make up the first four minutes of “Something Else” didn’t manage to keep my interest for long and the full band section that closes out the track didn’t seem purposeful and more so just there to get to the seven-minute mark. “Epitaph & Empathy” is split up into several different passages, with the whole song only really being tied together by the lyrics. The passages don’t flow into one another very well and the track sounds more like something that could be divided into a series of interludes between other songs than it does one cohesive piece.
David Lindstrom has created a pretty unique album. The band has serious musical chops and, for the most part, a good understanding of what makes an interesting song. I felt that the concept of Gilded Prayer was ambitious, but that the band could have put more work into some areas. All in all, this was an interesting indie project and I’d be excited to hear what David Lindstrom comes out with next.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito