Immigrant – Wounded Healer
Oscarson – 28 October 2017
Scottish-based singer-songwriter Immigrant (aka Lingus Gordon) has been quietly releasing albums for some 15 years, mostly on CDR and is probably used to his music not reaching a wide audience. This is a pity, as during that time Immigrant has recorded some fantastic songs, such as the magnificent Waiting for you found on Mother Tongue which was released by Fence Records. Incredibly, Wounded Healer is Immigrant’s fourteenth album – a truly remarkable album that should be cherished by all those with a love for gentle, acoustic singer-songwriters.
The album is about coming to terms with the mistakes you have made and finding a way to carry on searching for what is important. The album’s first song, Round the Houses, sets the tone of the album – a song about persistence and searching for a place to be. It begins with the sound of chattering voices over gently plucked guitar and gently building vocals. These are joined by organ as the song strikes a more upbeat note with the lyrics telling a story about searching for home.
This is followed by album’s standout title track. Wounded Healer begins with a soft looping guitar line that is accompanied by mesmerizing overlapping vocals. The song begins in a regretful tone:
Gone and how it came to be
(A new illusion)
Sweet sorrow only known to me
(Been occasionally known to)
Wrong as a wretched child
(Drop the ugly on you)
Spoiled and gone hog wild
(And hammer ugly down)
A crude and ugly beast
The song then opens up into a hopeful tone as the piano accompaniment kicks in. This turns back into a more reflective mood as the hope fades out and the lyrics take on a more despondent tone:
The crime is mine alone
True is the story told
Savaged the peace, my love
For it wouldn’t be enough
Falling as I only know
The song ends with a yearning wish to be able to go back in time and undo the mistakes of the past. It is a truly remarkable song that is worthy of repeated listening. While none of the album’s other songs quite live up to the high standards of Wounded Healer, this is in no way a criticism.
The album continues with Two Years a mesmerizing song about grief. This is followed by the beautiful Forbidden Roads a song about feeling directionless. The slow, rhythmic guitar line is accompanied by the mournful vocals describing feelings of loss:
Death of a scene
Of where I’d been
A tale that I’ve been told is over
Bury a ghost
You know I’ll try
And from myself you know I’ll hide
Well, good old me
The song doesn’t tell a tale of redemption but rather of continuing to try in the absence of hope:
I know that I’m so far removed
That I’ve nothing more left to lose
But dreamers are sworn to try
The album’s other highlights include the wonderfully name Hadamadi, a brief song of dread; Christos Moon a warming, winter song that strikes a more hopeful tone than the rest of the album; and Into the Ledger a song about a conflict between a life of sensible decisions and a yearning for a more rebellious past.
If there is any justice then this set of delicate, beautiful songs will see Immigrant finally reach the audience he deserves.
Available to order via Bandcamp (Digital/Vinyl/CD): https://oscarson.bandcamp.com
Plus Limited Special Edition on Vinyl (30 Copies) via Oscarson