Album Review: Lady Of The Sunshine – Smoking Gun

There are times when trivial things begin to get on top of you, and you wonder how you came to be at this junction in your life. You daydream about taking a road trip on a summers’ day, along the coast and through hazy meadows, tranquil blue skylines and accompanied by blurred visions of friends laughing.When your epiphany seizures into your new reality, Smoking Gun will be the soundtrack to your life, enrapturing you into a blissful state of being.

Opening track ‘Silver Revolver’ carries a weight of sadness and beauty that needs the vocal expertise of Angus Stone, aka Lady Of The Sunshine, to bring it from morbid delusion to blissful summer solstice. Imagine becoming enrapt in the strumming of a guitar string that for those three minutes there has never been a more beautiful sound.

But the strength of this album is that it can suddenly switch to heavier moments, as in ‘White Rose Parade’, without losing any of the aesthetic that the desirable day dream is delving into. ‘Smoking Gun’ and ‘Dead Man’s Train’ belong to the established seventies dream which Angus seems to be reaching, and has caught up with many a time.

Smoking Gun should not be confined to the limits of categories such as surfer-rock, stoner jams, or indeed pop-lite. It is instead a gentle acoustic-led collection of retrospective, contemplative songs, which offer an illusion of grandeur.

Many albums are given the contrived title of Soundtrack to the Summer, and they are usually anything but. Smoking Gun is the album that will be played when the sun gives its final farewell of the day, when the horizon of crashing waves becomes a crescendo of alienating sounds, when the day becomes hot, and there is no choice but to lie back and grab a cold one.

Words: Peter Clark