On her fifth album, entitled Goners, Laura Gibson deep dives into the positive and negative aspects of the word “goners.”
As Gibson says, “Goners seemed an apt title because it speaks of both the future and the past. The word is used for two types of people: those who lose themselves in the ones they love, and those whose deaths are imminent.”
This is Gibson’s first album since completing her MFA in writing, and it shows, as her verses coruscate with brilliant allusions and turns of phrase. The list of musicians contributing on the album reads like a who’s who of artists: Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie), Dan Hunt (Neko Case), Nate Query (The Decemberists), along with horn and woodwind arrangements by Kelly Pratt and strings by Kyleen King.
Comprising 10 tracks, Goners opens with “Carrying Water,” a sublime amalgamation of swirling, surfacing colors, textures of layered sonic savors, and streaming symphonic ambience.
From a subjective perspective, highlights on the album include “Domestication,” an electro-pop-flavored tune marked by scrumptious vocal harmonies and a contagiously pulsing rhythm accompanied by shimmering synths. Gibson’s voice is gorgeously evocative. The title track merges alt-pop and alt-rock-lite tangs into an elegant, exquisitely delightful flow of harmonics, glowing strings ,and swelling horns.
“Clemency” opens with light, dazzling, baroque guitars atop heightening strings and oozing horns, infusing the tune with undulating ripples of coloration. “Tenderness” rides a captivating alt-rock melody rife with mounting strings and Gibson’s exotically-laced inflection. “I Don’t Want Your Voice To Move Me” is both fugitive and proximate, reflecting pensive pale colors on the crest of the muscular rhythmic pulse.
Wonderfully wrought, the polished harmonic arrangement of Goners infuses the tunes with a beauty so extraordinary it seems to have a vitality of its own, despite the often dark subject matter.