ALBUM REVIEW: “Pauper’s Field” Dylan Leblanc
[Rough Trade Records]
Last week I mentioned Dylan Leblanc in our new Introducing series on The Owl Mag. The 20-year-old grew up as a sideman’s son, meaning he’s been around the music scene for as long as he’s been around. Story is that he learned to play music at an early age and has been working for the past five years on this record. Considering the amount of substance on this album both lyrically and musically, you’d think this was Leblanc‘s last record, not his first.
Let’s get one thing straight, Dylan is no wonder-teen pop sensation. He might be young, but his subject matter pulls at your heart strings in a way that is sincere, calm and empathetic. Most songs feel like they were written a lifetime ago in a smoky bar on a napkin. “He says young man behind the bar will take the bottle, this will fix it, this will fix it,” Leblanc sings on “5th Avenue Bar” as if he were an old man, seeing a lifetime of bars. But he’s only 20, and that isn’t legal.
“Low,” one of the catchier songs off Pauper’s Field might give the impression that Dylan doesn’t only write beautiful sad songs, but upbeat ones as well. “Are you feeling alright? You’re free at last,” is a hook that doesn’t let up and will have you singing it weeks after its first inception.
Truth is, I could talk about the beauty of every single song about this album in intimate detail. It’s all I’ve listened to for the past 2 weeks. Country isn’t my thing, but great songwriters are, and this is one well written and executed album I think you’d excuse me for.