Twinkling guitar work opens up the titular effort from Thomas Charlie Pedersen’s latest album, Second Hand War. While a great many of the songs on this album have a vocal component, one cannot help but listen to the confident arrangements that comprise the backbone of the title.
High Dust Devils tie together Bob Dylan and Harvey Danger. There is a traditional singer-songwriter sound cultivate here that brings in hints of mid-1990s alternative rock. The simple, stripped-down sound crafted by Pedersen is tremendously personal and will resound loudly in listeners’ minds. The production feels rough-hewn, imbuing the track (and the whole of Second Hand War) with a close and cozy sound. Letter From The Dead is a spiritual successor to the late-era Beatles. The piano and emotionally heavy vocals here comprise something that will permanently impact listeners, all while telling a story. This gravitas is rare to experience in music, but Pedersen is able to lay it all on the line and create one of our favorite efforts on Second Hand War.
The Harder the Fall is a strong pian0-led track which has Pedersen build off of the sound of an Elvis Costello, while Kill with Kindness travels back to the halcyon days of the late 1960s and early 1970s for inspiration. While there so many different styles and approaches that Pedersen takes during Second Hand War, there is a cohesive sound that is cultivated that resounds from the first seconds of High Dust Devils into the final strains of Good Ride. The hope that is threaded during the latter track acts as a perfect way to close up shop. One has to wonder where Pedersen will go on subsequent albums, but the richness of the experience on Second Hand War indicates that there’s still much of the story to tell.
Top Tracks: Letter From The Dead, The Harder the Fall