ALBUM REVIEW - FRANCIS MOSS "TICKOR"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written and Preformed by David Lord Percussion by William Erickson Recorded and Mixed by David Lord at Air House Studio Mastered by JJ Golden Released by Air House Records December 12th, 2017

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written and Preformed by David Lord
Percussion by William Erickson
Recorded and Mixed by David Lord
at Air House Studio
Mastered by JJ Golden
Released by Air House Records
December 12th, 2017

Like light shimmering on the the open waters, Tickor opens ready for a voyage tooled by the tiniest of chattering beings. Like worker bees, the microscopic, gibberish-like melodies float between each speaker and dance in between a long, lumbering melody on “Vedticka.” Ever patient, the captain, Francis Moss (AKA David Lord) guides this vessel from calm shimmering water into the pastel clouds of a Kansas sunset.

Tickor is the 2017 follow up to what seems like an already endless catalog of gentle guitar pop produced, engineered and recorded by David Lord. The only other instrumentalist on this release is Will Erickson on percussion. Lord has sprinkled the likes of the dulcimer, accordion and banjo, to name a few of the instruments employed on this 11-song fantasy excursion.

“Ullficka” continues to reflect the shimmering light of this electric guitar-centric release. Not afraid of employing classical guitar sounds, “Veckticka” takes a slightly different hue in harmonic format, but remains on course. If anything, we are drifting more into the atmosphere than remaining on the water.

“Rosenticka” escapes the atmosphere altogether and continues to rise until emitting a sonic beacon and returning back to whence Tickor came. The remaining few seconds sound as if the guitar is trying to make sense of where it came from and where it is about to embark.

Lord has an affinity for making guitars sound exotic and his toying with backing melodies on the glockenspiel or mandolin give the typical guitar character a little more imaginative feel. The effect is like performing on “prepared guitar”—the often unknown world of affecting one's instrument with towels in the sound hole or paper clips on the strings, etc. The other-worldliness is maintained through such careful treatment during the recording process.

Lord has an affinity for making guitars sound exotic and his toying with backing melodies on the glockenspiel or mandolin give the typical guitar character a little more imaginitive feel.  The effect is like performing on “prepared guitar” - the often unknown world of affecting ones instrument with towels in the sound hole or paper clips on the strings, etc.  The otherworldliness is maintained through such careful treatment during the recording process.  

As the owner of Air House Records and the recording studio therein, Lord employs practice through his patience in composing these works specifically for his studio. The detail of this scope can be appreciated in the depth of sonic tapestry captured on disc or in whatever streaming service you consume.

“Lappticka” and “Granticka” come off like sonic art mini-landscapes. They are less like songs you’d end up humming to your lover and more for moments when the sun comes in the window at that unique angle that one late autumn morning every year.

“Laxticka” dips back into a meditative state. Peaceful, like a warm hand on your shoulder. Chords bellow, a melody whispers in your ear and a giant fuchsia cloud passes over. This feels more like sonic poetry than jazz or rock or ambient music.

Over halfway into the voyage on Tickor, the feel is more like gnomish storytelling than a release by a seasoned song writer. Back to remind you he has the reins, Lord engages the sail to gain some momentum on “Tallstockticka” and Erickson obliges with a soft pattering on his kick drum.

“Harticka” reminds us there is still time for a nap amidst the dream. Lullabies are not rare in Francis Moss’ world. Often, lullaby-like sounds are the backdrop for melodic embellishment and the follow-up “Blackticka” ensues with some echoing blurps and pops.

The album closer, “Silkesporing”, eschews the champagne from the maiden voyage of Tickor and instead, moss forms. The mushrooms bloom and the now quiet fairy-tales abandon consciousness for a story yet to be determined until Francis Moss’ next release.