Album Review: David Ford – ‘Animal Spirits’

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Having supported the likes of Elvis Costello, Ray LaMontagne and Aqualung, and with praise from The Guardian and The Times, multi-instrumentalist David Ford has now returned with a captivating new album, Animal Spirits.

Inspired by the theme of economics, the album tackles a different, and unromantic, subject matter in an accessible and beautifully eloquent way.

Album opener ‘Downmarket’ immediately captures attention with its bluesy melodies, emotion-strewn power and the distinctive, gritty vocals of Ford.  Next up, title track ‘Animal Spirits’ flows with an infectious latin groove as the coarse edges of Ford’s impassioned vocals are interwoven with sumptuous layers of sound. Slowing the tempo, ‘By Your Side’ and ‘We Always Knew’ ooze a gentle romanticism and heartfelt emotion alongside twinkling melodies, creating perfectly formed ballads.

Beginning in the same vein, ‘It’s All You’ sparkles with delicate melodies before building to a gritty slice of Americana, with shades of the dark splendour of Leonard Cohen’s songwriting. ‘Real Damn Slow’ picks up the pace once again with its blues ridden slide guitar and raw scuzzy power before ‘Why Don’t You Answer Your Telephone’ offers its sweeping passion as rollicking riffs and the added vocal power of backing singers creates a sense of cinematic grandeur.

Finally, closing the album, ‘I’ve Lost More Than I Ever Thought I Would Hold’ flows with shimmering, folk-inspired melodies with shades of Damien Rice, showcasing Ford’s beautiful, lyrically rich songwriting at its most affecting.

Animal Spirits is a thought-provoking collection filled with poetic lyricism and immersive musical layers, proving David Ford to be just as capable of writing heartfelt love songs as politically driven blues anthems.

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