After a four-year absence, Danish singer-songwriter Thomas Charlie Pedersen has released his second installment as a solo artist. Daylight Saving Hours, released on February 7th, 2020, continues Pedersen’s minimalist approach to solo recordings, in contrast with his alt-rock band, Vinyl Floor. Sadly, it fell short to my ears due to its unpolished presentation and weak vocal delivery.
First, the positive! There are charming, beautiful musical moments here. “Sad to See You Go,” a 45-second love/hate ditty, is the type of thing I always enjoy. “Must Be the World” has a cute guitar line reminiscent of The Beatles’ Blackbird and playful Simon & Garfunkel-esque vocal harmonies. “Stay True,” with its spooky guitar arrangement and simple melody, is another winner. Sadly, the good moments are overshadowed by the vast timidity of this record.
Surprisingly, Pedersen’s voice is the weakest link. In Vinyl Floor, his talents fit well into the music, but here, the naked fragility of his tremolo is too apparent. In addition, the recording sounds muffled and restrained, with audible signal distortion in some places.
Pedersen is accompanied on all of Daylight Saving Hours’ songs by his brother and Vinyl Floor bandmate Daniel, whose vocal harmonization adds refinement and depth. Together, they weave a bare-bones tapestry that pales in comparison with their band’s rich, gripping vibe. The songs are promising, but they are often held back by simplistic picking and strumming patterns (“The Meriwether Pull,” “Movables,” “Faithful Mistress”), weak singing (“Green Plateau,” “The World is Not Your Oyster”) and overcrowded lyrics (“Stay True,” “The Freewheeler”). Clumsy playing cements the impression that this record was made quickly, cheaply and without much perfectionism.
Surely, fans of the singer-songwriter genre will find things to like. There is a Beatles-like twist to many of the song structures, while others borrow from Bob Dylan. Its territory most rock music fans are familiar with: sentimental, fragile and vulnerable, although nothing on this album is particularly well executed.
Written by Henri Brillon
*Edited by Dominic Abate