New Zealand born singer-songwriter Lachlan Grant Splendor is a talented musician and a strong songwriter. His songs create an atmosphere that is unique without seeming contrived or pretentious. I can understand why Lachlan has yet to break big internationally because his talents don’t fall easily inside the defined boxes the music industry marketing machines like. He is a bit eclectic like Dave Matthews in that sense, though there are obviously meaningful artistic differences between the two. From the outset his latest single, “Fathers Second Son”, taking off the album “The Choice Is Yours”, sets a rhetorical tone for a reflective song that contemplates the difficulties of finding the real you within yourself – the search for alliance in family and friends, the confusion and distractions of maturing, the restless spirit breaking free, and the disquieting sense of maybe falling short.
Along the way, Lachlan Grant Splendor externalizes a kind of inner madness while his imagery remains suitably poetic. It’s not simply the exorcism that Lachlan puts himself through, but rather the feeling that he will come out of the process stronger.
Running just over three minutes, the song’s raging, and harmonically-driven guitar picking, acts as a catharsis to the lyrical laceration of the verses. Lachlan never loses his sense of melody, and this track thrives in his sheer musicality, be it agile finger-picking, hammering striking harmonics, or delighting in rich and dark melody. It’s hardly an easy ride, but it’s eventually a satisfying one.
Lachlan’s strident and tension-filled guitar plucking imbues the song with the sense of a forthcoming crescendo, in an attempt to build towards a euphoric feeling of acceptance and understanding. Every note trickles off Lachlan’s’ fingertips from his acoustic guitar, each drum beat is like a heavy boot landing on a dirt-covered rock, kicking dust up into the simmering heat.
The complexities and nuances confronted on “Fathers Second Son” are all too relatable, which places it starkly at the forefront of Lachlan Grant Splendor’s lyrical accomplishments as well.
As the music world seems to indulge itself more and more in the new rift of sounds developing through electronics, folk stands as a resilient genre, stubbornly un-willing to be pulled from its deep roots.
Folk flourishes in its ability to strip away everything but vocals and chords – it relies heavily upon the strength of a voice, lyrics and passionate expression. It’s no surprise then to find Lachlan Grant Splendor here channeling his sound board and placing its strength in the ideas and conventions of the genre’s roots.
“Fathers Second Son” is the sound of Lachlan Grant Splendor doubling down on the ambiance and the emotion, creating a collage of moments both fleeting and everlasting while choosing the art of the craft over the simplest path to accolades. It may take more time to appreciate, but it’s a masterclass of songwriting and performance.