London-based singer-songwriter, Steve Dagleish’s second album, Yours For Eternity is presented as a love letter and inside the stories of the lost and the lonely. The songs are soaked in great sense of sentiment with Steve weaving a tapestry of wonderful characters together in the gentle sounds of this album.
The track list begins with Hello Son, a softly sung ballad filled with loving words from a mother to her child. The melody is intricate and free flowing, like a campfire song being sung at sunset. The tone shifts dramatically to Govenor of Sombrero, a stripped back a cappella track. The raw tones of Steve’s voice bring atmosphere and weight to this sea shanty-like tale of a father recounting losing his son to The Royal Navy; based on the history of Robert Jeffrey.
Emily Stands Strong sits on the list as a tribute to the life and work of Emily Hobhouse, a woman who challenged the reasoning behind the Second Boer War. The rhythmic quality to the song gives it a dark lullaby feel, the strength of the lyrics providing strong mental imagery for me as I listened to its words.
The title track, Yours For Eternity, represents the heart of the album’s message for me. This tragic love song is rooted in a relationship between soldier Henry Coulter and his lover, Lucy Townend. Steve’s wonderful ability to create characters littered with such fine details, allows you to feel the reality of the distance present in this lost relationship. Marriage St./Road to Mary provides an instrumental link to our next story and allows Steve to show his flair as a guitarist.
The theme of distance is carried through into Miss Sweeney, the melody and tones more light-hearted but the message of the song no less dense with feeling. This song contains a favourite lyric of mine, ‘He sold his place in heaven for the world that Molly wanders’ an eloquent description of the strength of a parent. Benjamin Grey stresses the importance of love in a life consumed with trouble, another of Steve’s characters awakened through the wonderful sense of vulnerability in his lyrics.
The last four songs of the album felt the most intense, in terms of expression of feeling, for me it’s where Steve’s skill as a storyteller really reaches its peak. King of the Mountain tells the solemn tale of a lonely existence, a man who has everything material yet nothing substantial. Bring Down The Sky reminded me of my Northern roots, waves of nostalgia crashing over me through vivid imagery conjured by the lyrics.
Last Act at Bar 62, a quiet expression of one musician’s struggle to be heard, such powerful sentiments expressed in the softest of tones. And finally we end on my favourite track of the album, Waiting for the one, which like most songs on the album brings with it the sweet sense of home and one woman’s longing for different circumstances. Steve’s voice dances gracefully around the melody and left my mind walking through her story.
My heaven is on the ground when I reach your time…