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Brian Fallon's Local Honey: melancholy painted with modern oils

Gaslight Anthem mainman Brian Fallon pulls up a stool on Local Honey

Brian Fallon: Local Honey
(Image: © Lesser Known Records)

Sorry, Iggy, but rock’s a young man’s game, at least judging by the rate at which Americana bawlers mature into introverted country folk. 

The latest to do so is The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, decelerating into his forties with a third solo album of eight graceful, acoustic-led ballads about the American middle-aged struggle, which appears to be more ‘dreaming of horses’ than ‘expensive extension’. 

To his credit, Fallon brushes his lofty melancholy with modern oils; a National guitar hum gives romantic and hard-bitten odes like Lonely For You Only, Horses and Hard Feelings an ambient contemporary feel, misty EDM atmospherics echo and flitter in the background of 12-step anthem 21 Days, and on Vincent glitchy clicks accompany the sweetly strummed tale of a beaten woman murdering her abuser.

Even when Fallon does resort to simply weeping into the sawdust – You Have Stolen My Heart and When You’re Ready – it’s over the sort of gorgeous and poignant love letters to his family that make homeliness feel close to Godliness. 

Such saccharine succour.