May You Find the Light Before the Devil Knows He’s Right by Jeff Goldsmith is an interesting take on 2020 in Minneapolis, created and inspired from actual sound recording from life in the last year.
The album, to use Jeff’s term, is art forward. It’s conceptual alternative electronica. The album is challenging in its experimental nature and rewarding. I recommend you listen to the album as a whole. The song progression is a sublime arc – sonically is starts with a bang or maybe a boom, then the sound wanders through whispers, sirens, robotic voices, a hush and lands in ground that will be more familiar to most listeners.
The music is a blend of sound recordings from the city and instruments played by Jeff the musician and bent and stretched by Jeff the engineer. The sounds are evocative, the church bells brought Heather back to church with her grandma, the sirens brought us all back to the week of May 25, 2020. Thematically the music is also a journey with anchored in the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd (Venom Purge), the public outcry and questioning “are we safe” (On a Ledge) and the release of “begging for peace of mind” (Not Even a Memory).
There’s a strong theme of abandonment, which at times feels personal and at times societal. But in the nature of its come to being, the album highlights the ways shared experiences have brought us together in our weird time of quarantine seclusion. The push and pull of the contrasting sounds and the ticking (from a clock?) help conjure the oddity of that sentiment. It’s a very rich and layered work.