Album Review: “Love and the Front Lawn”

Edmonton indie-pop singer-songwriter St.Arnaud releases his second album, Love And The Front Lawn, via Fierce Panda Canada.

Following on the heels of his excellent 2019 album, The Cost Of Living, St.Arnaud says of the new album, “I want the album to continue the thread of self-reflection, vulnerability, and rawness, but with notable departures in texture and shape.”

St.Arnaud is a little bit of everywhere to everyone. Working alongside his brother and fellow creative, the YouTube animator GingerPale, St.Arnaud found a loving home on YouTube and Spotify with legions of eager listeners and was swept up in dozens of tour dates across Canada and the USA.

St.Arnaud has shared the stage with Basia Bulat, Reuben and the Dark, and Lucy Rose among countless others and has performed on stages across the world including at Reeperbahn, New Colossus Festival, FOCUS Wales, and Tallinn Music Week, along with being featured on numerous elite outlets.

Comprising 10-tracks, entry points on the album include the breezy “Catching Flies,” a laidback-feeling song full of bright horn accents and St.Arnaud’s lighthearted voice, akin to Jimmy Buffet with its nonchalant lyricism.

A personal favourite, “Sophie” blends savors of retro pop with delicious washes of orchestral leitmotifs, relaxed yet alluringly buoyant. The bassline on this track thumps with luscious, rounded tones. “How Could I Ever Compare” opens on low-slung gleaming colors rippling with tropical-lite flavors. Reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel, the gentle flow of the harmonics beguile as St.Arnaud’s indulgent voice imbues the lyrics with tender timbres.

Another favorite, “Feeling Better,” merges vibrant pop textures with hints of country-pop. A thrumming rhythm and braying brass infuse the tune with glowing energy. Whereas the chugging guitars of “Big Winner” give the song a charming sensation as St.Arnaud’s evocative vocals inject the lyrics with blissful aromas.

For some reason, the last track, “Giving Up,” conjures up suggestions of alt-pop/alt-rock-lite-flavored Pink Floyd, drifting yet dynamic, especially when the guitars take on dirty textures.

On one level intimate and susceptible, while on another level almost devil-may-care, Love And The Front Lawn exudes a bewitching attitude toward life, love, loss, and everything in between.

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