Owen Tromans – Golden Margins

Owen Tromans - Golden Margins

Owen Tromans – Golden Margins

Although this is his first full-length album since 2009, Owen Tromans has been far from idle.  In the interim years he’s shared a 7″ with Wooden Wand, compiled a solo years anthology (Eternal Western Youth Dream), forged a side-project as part of the psyche-folk shaped Candles (whose debut LP follows soon on Critical Heights), slipped-out the eclectic For Haden EP and unfurled an epic psycho-geographical download-only single (“Long Now”).  With such artistic career boosts in his back pocket, Golden Margins finds Tromans playing with both upbeat and reflective moods, with a newer-found looseness in the mix.

Pulling on perennial penchants for suburban contentment and rural darkness, Golden Margins veers between the uplifting and the downcast.  Hence, in the former camp, the opening title-track – with its uncharacteristic brass and rolling piano adornments – beams in as a self-deprecating celebration of life making music under the radar; “White Candle Road” rolls along as a ball of country-blues-via-Pentangle blissfulness; “Pyramids” brims with organ-driven gospel swells; and “Bird Come Down” glows with a pedal steel and harmony-coated radiance akin to Clarence White-era Byrds.  In the contrasting duskier corners, there’s the pensive pared-down folk-noire of “Queen Of Spain,” the stripped-back early-PJ Harvey edginess of “I Saw Him” and the eerie meditations of “Saltwater Curse.”

Supported by a well-drilled ensemble tuned into exploring Tromans’ catholic tastes, the album sustains its wide vision pretty much throughout and barring some occasional yet forgivable lyrical misfiring (on the sparse Billy Bragg-like “Barmaids/Tremolo” and the Crazy Horse-indebted “1682” in particular), Golden Margins is another slow-burning creditable addition to its author’s extensive canon.

Sacred Geometry