A Deceptive Icelandic Folk/Country Fusion
Icelandic born musician Kalli's second solo album "Last Train Home" is replete with simple folksy charm. Kalli (better known to the world as Without Gravity front man Karl Henry) has somehow written, recorded and released an album which manages to combine elements of folk and country to create something which... well is simply something else. Taken at face value this album may trick it's listeners into thinking it's a standard set of easy listening tunes with an accordion thrown into the mix but I can give my personal guarantee that "Last Train Home" is much more than it appears to be.
'Black to Blue' opens the album with the light pluck of an acoustic guitar and a relaxing touch of pianistic talent. Ok. That's nice. It's relaxing. Then Kalli's first few lyrics creep in and present you with some beautiful yet clichéd imagery. Oh. Ok, I wonder where he's going with this. "I open my eyes/ I'm a long way from home/ with a long way to go from here." From this point on the song seems to ease out softly until the next one, "Dark Horse," comes along. Except it's not that simple. Thinking about the album now after listening to the whole thing, I realised I misjudged it right from the start. Kalli even said in his opening line everything you needed to know and it was brushed off as a clichéd warble. "I'm a long way from home with a long way to go from here." There. Right there. "Last Train Home" is a soulful depiction of longing and sorrow. It's even hard to sum it up in words as it's all about the emotion that this album evokes, and the emotion this album evokes is indescribable.
Don't get me wrong, the record is no "Harvest" By Neil Young, but it is still a solid, emotional portrayal of musical talent. Standout songs on the album are 'Last Train Home', 'Lullaby' and 'Nothing At All' which in three subtle blasts echo the sound of Jeff Buckley playing Fleet Foxes covers over a Tennessee sunset. I say Tennessee because no Folk/Country crossover album is complete unless it was recorded in Nashville.
"I had thought about going to Nashville to record an album for years," says Kalli. "Although the songs I wrote for "Last Train Home" are far from being traditional country songs I really wanted to mix them up with certain country music elements and I also wanted to record most of it live in a studio with a session band. Nashville, TN was just the perfect place for me to record."
What's that?! "Last Train Home" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee?! Well, blow me down. "Last Train Home" is a beautifully crafted Folk/Country crossover through and through.