Written Tuesday, October 1
I’m a big fan of simplicity in recording. When you strip things down, all you have left is an artist and their talent. You can’t hide behind filters and effects. The performance takes the spotlight. It’s human and raw and naked. Until Now is like that. It starts so bare, and it shines. Hartle’s voice is the big draw here. It’s soft and smooth and so soulful.
On the title track he really takes his time. It’s a short 1:41 second statement. It comes and goes like a thought. It breaks tradition on what a song has to be, and I love that.
For the rest of the tracks all we hear are guitars, bass, a bass drum, a tambourine, and keys at a few places. The focus is so focused on his voice and guitar that these other elements are used sparingly. And it works great. The last track is just guitar, voice, and keys. The title track is just guitar and voice. You can even hear the room a bit on that track, the air, the creak of the chair. You get that sense that it’s just a man and a mic. That makes it so private, like finding a message in a bottle.