David Berkeley’s dimly lit laments make for an oddly affecting set of songs, sparse odes imbued with both despair and desire. Quiet, contemplative, heartfelt and forlorn, this latest album is built around some of the barest designs imaginable, a sound that requires the listener to lean in and focus lest it give way to distraction. Despite its severity, it’s lovely as a whole, with songs such as “Back to Blue,” “Broken Crown” and the title track appearing to hover as if suspended, each’s distant beginning gathering just enough heat to light the smallest spark.
Berkeley gives the illusion he’s mouthing these thoughts for the first time, his aching, fragile vocals offering a plea so desperate it appears he’s fully out of alternatives. And yet, his methods are oddly affecting, creating a connection that under other circumstance might be construed more as elusive than enlightening. Granted, Berkeley’s not for everybody, and truth be told The Fire In My Head makes the earnest intent of his earlier efforts seem positively energised by comparison. “Don’t ever give in, don’t ever give up,” Berkeley urges on the triumphant closer, “Song for the Road.” It’s one reason this set’s so spellbinding. Despite his forlorn state, Berkeley’s clearly committed to his cause.
DOWNLOAD: “Back to Blue,” “Broken Crown, “The Fire In My Head”