Album Review: Sam Teskey’s debut Cycles powerfully captures the beauty of life

Music often has the power to capture the singular highlights within our lives, but rarely can it capture the flow and change of the entire process. Nonetheless, Australian blues artist and Grammy-nominated sound engineer, Sam Teskey, has managed to do that, telling the journey of… us. From womb to death; sonically using music to add his own interpretation to the beauty of existence.

As with all things throughout humanity, “Love” is its beginning, calming layered vocals build to guitar expressionism, that while not explosive displays the quiet passions that love involves.

The guitar is Sam’s weapon of explanation and much of the album uses it in lieu of vocals to describe life’s story. It works to great effect, separating the vocalised tracks, almost asking the listener to take a moment to ponder and reflect.

The flowing instrumentals of the intro and outro tracks throughout the album demonstrate the fun, emotional intensity, and quiet moments of contemplation we all experience through our own cycles.

“Let The Sun Brings The Light In” and its outro build us into the middle of our lives, and the album. While “If the Dove Is Sold (outro)” fires into a combination of blues and psychedelic rock, pivoting us toward our own exit through the distant ebb of Sam’s guitar on “Our World Goes Cold”.

The final track “Then Love Returns” repeats the cycle’s unspoken motif. Using slowed vocals and a monotonous drone of drums, we near the end with a celebration and a continued approach to ‘Love’, once again.

In the end, we have a body of work – Sam Teskey’s brilliant debut – that itself deserves to be celebrated.

The album art by Maria Torres, itself adds another visceral dimension to the overall work, complimenting Sam’s guitar lyricism. In one image we see both birth, our path, and oblivion on the other end before the cycle begins anew.

FOUR & A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Cycles is out now. For more details, head to Sam’s official website.

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