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'Into The Light'   

-  Label: 'Probe Plus Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '7th April 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'Probe 74'

Our Rating:
One of the standout tracks on this Liverpool-based band's previous album (The End Of The Rain) was Sweet Life. This song marked a shift in style, adding an Eastern flavour to their brand of Northern acoustic Folk through the tablas and percussion playing of Saul Hughes.

In the five years since that album Hughes and singer/songwriter/ guitarist Zinney (Gerd C. Zinsmeister) have toured Europe as a duo exploring this 'new' Indian influenced sound.

For their follow up release they have added strings to the equation through Nicole Collarbone (cello) and Merlyn Sturt (viola). The record also features Viki Rose Goulden on backing, and occasional lead, vocals.

Zinney says that for this record they wanted to resist the negativity of world events and "set ourselves the task to keep the vibe warm and positive".

This mission is accomplished although the deliberate slant towards lightness and optimism feels a bit forced at times and the faux naivety of the lyrics is often cloying.

Despite all evidence that suggests the contrary, the title track runs with the idea that "brighter days are surely coming our way" and we are assured on Do (Feel Free) that "The truth is not as bad as it seems".

Such wishful thinking demands a certain suspension of disbelief but is well suited to the mellow, pastoral textures of the music.

You may not be capable of waking up to embrace "the colours of your dreams" (Beautiful Morning) but surely all of us would like to hope that love will overcome fear (Believe).   

Neither would there be many to argue against the thrust of the closing track (Better Together) which affirms that human bonds are preferable to links on digital networks.

These mantras to blue sky thinking won't change the world but offer gentle reminders that another world is possible.

Sonnenberg's website

  author: Martin Raybould

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SONNENBERG - Into The Light