by Mark Teague
Shelf Life, Grant Davidson’s third album under the moniker Slow Leaves, is exactly the album Winnipeg needs under lockdown. Teaming up with a roster of Winnipeg staples like Rusty Matyas, Rejean Ricard, and Damon Mitchell, Davidson has released the perfect album for the solitary mood of newfound home life.
The opening track, “Looking Out My Window” (an all too familiar activity under lockdown), begins themes of reflection that continue throughout the rest of the album. The comforting warble of Grant’s voice has an almost natural echo, and a warmth that perfectly complements the sentiment across the rest of the tracks.
Each of the songs, in turn, present thoughts, feelings, and situations that invite the listener to identify. Davidson asks difficult questions that require introspection and self-awareness, while also discussing the intricacies of daily living. Statements such as “I need some peace of mind” and “yesterday I found myself thinking of you”, become as meaningful as they are universal, especially when we are given time to reflect.
Sonically, the album has a very dreamy feel, and Davidson highlights this by introducing motifs of dream and memory, and the intersection of these two familiar states.
In a time when much of life has changed, Slow Leaves has produced an album that provides comfort while also asking us to reflect on the past, on ourselves, and possibilities for the future. Shelf Life provides a uniquely powerful compliment for the uncertainty of the present.