The acoustic guitar is a wonderful instrument that can be given so many accents depending on whose playing and Raoul Vignal’s style is one of quiet flamboyance. Each track on his album The Silver Veil has a lush and rich finger picked arrangement that lays out beautiful melodies of melancholy.
Take the opening track “Hazy Days”. The finger picking chords are going at quite a pace and you can hear the string buzz, the finger movements and every bit of detail in each pluck. It creates a really intimate feel that’s built on with Raoul’s vocal. It’s hushed, understated and reflective with a weary sigh to it. It’s also smooth and feels really Earthy and calming. It’s a perfect combination that is used throughout the album.
The album itself rarely strays away from the folk roots. “Mine” feels like the kind of song you’d sing to yourself around a campfire whilst muted drums continue that acoustic Earthy feel. “One” allows for a folksy flamenco twang to everything, but the mood stays sombre and spacious. It lulls you into a space of safety and comfort, despite being quite miserable! Indeed, that spacious dream like context which is here throughout the album comes to the fore with the lyrical content of “Under the Same Sky” which wishes on a return of a loved one.
Occasionally Vignal pushes his craft into a more sinister vibe because of his chords he uses. “Side by Side” is perfect as a tension grinder as the notes rise and get more complex as the guitar dives for a plunge before rising the notes again. “Dona Lura” is pure folk and lush lust as the wistful lyrics for someone by his side. The whole track has a sweet innocence to it and has a flute underplaying the guitar gently and it balances the line between dreamlike and 60’s psychedelia and actually being a little creepy in how understated the flute is – and the lyrics can be quite sinister too if you read them with murderous intent!
However, most of the albums lyrics are enlightening and aspiring. “Whispers” speaks of the courage and light others give to Vignal and the track pushes the euphoria with him. “Bless You” is a love letter to the little things in life, before the instrumental “The Silver Veil” lets the music take you on a journey of awakening. Interesting “Shadows” closes the album with the most rock like track on the album. It works in the album context because it feels like everything leads to all the instruments standing on two feet, and whilst its very much acoustic rocking out, it’s a great way to close an album of intimacy as the instruments slowly fade out into a blur.
Having stumbled across Raoul Vignal on Bandcamp, as many of my best discoveries these seem to come from, I was blown away at how great and rounded this album is. It holds a specific space in the musical world and coats it with glory. This will be right up there with my albums of the year and anyone whom enjoys folk or acoustic rock will lap this up.
Recommended track : Hazy Days