Dave Bremner: “Tigers and Dragons” – a mature record that feels adult in both sound and message

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Hailing from Scotland, singer-songwriter Dave Bremner has been around the music business for more years than he would care to admit. A founding member of the now defunct band, Luna Reclipse – a combo that produced a superb album of rock arrangements of a number of Dave’s songs, called “NEW BEGINNING.” However due to life getting in the way, that group is no longer together. This has led Dave to follow the soloist path, as his passion for writing and performing continues. A turning point in his career evolution came when Dave’s daughter, Dawn, bought him studio time for his 50th birthday. Part of the resulting effect, is his latest EP release – “Tigers and Dragons” – a collection of some of Dave Bremner’s early songs, which he plays while performing live.

The EP out via Shine on Records, essays romantic, Americana-tinged songwriting, and is a distinctly adult affair, both in theme and in execution. This record is snug, nonthreatening and comforting, as Dave strums his acoustic guitar and sings poetically in his goose-down voice.

The warm cadences resolve as contentedly as longtime married couples. “Looking For Love” is the most robust thing here – described as gentle version of the original rock arrangement, the song is based on a dream and using a real play on mystic influences of Dave’s music hero, Marc Bolan.

“Reason To Live” delivers honest emotional clarity – “I sat down beside you. That was how I found you. A beautiful rose in my life” – ensuring this will soundtrack wedding photo slideshows for all eternity, as Dave lays down an ode to his wife, thanking her, for the support she has given him over so many years, and for so many different reasons.

That Bremner feels an extremely deep gratitude for having found his loving wife Julie, is made even more evident in “I Have You”. A song Dave wrote while receiving Reiki treatment during a bout of depression.

But just as everything threatens to blur into a copper-colored autumnal haze, Dave adds some kick to keep the beauty in sharp relief: the EP’s most elegantly powerful vocal melody, on “Outside”, is backed by the impetuous strum of guitars and a big drum beat. The sure-footed rock craft shown here creates lushly layered sonic comfort.

Yet even when he’s stretching his sonic wings, Dave strikes a perfect balance between gorgeous and world-weary from the first note to the last. It seems, from the first song to the last, that songwriter was keen to highlight his core values via intimacy, quiet contemplation, personal and deftly coded pondering that somehow accrue a great deal of universal appeal.

With the instrumentation simplified, the emphasis on Dave Bremner’s singing is thrust into the spotlight and “Tigers and Dragons” offers fine vocal performances. His rich tones swell over the underlying music and carry a strong emotional punch.

His vocal performance is also underpinned by his prowess as a modern songwriter. In heading back to basics, Dave has delivered the kind of lyrical and vocal performances which explains why he has enjoyed such a long career and will no doubt continue to do so. The result is a mature record that feels adult in both sound and message, leaving a sense of comfort and emotional awareness.

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