Created spontaneously and collaboratively, Langhorne Slim’s new record, Lost at Last (Vol.1), might be his best yet. Joined by friends who worked closely with him to craft the sound of these songs, there’s a lightness and a breathability to Lost at Last. It feels like a sigh of relief in the midst of chaos.
Langhorne Slim has always had a recognizable voice, but with Lost at Last, we get a stronger sense of his voice as a writer. And while Lost at Last lyrically listens like Slim’s quest for sweetness and simplicity, it isn’t just derivative, old-timey folk music. Slim embraces that troubadour quality in his performances, but he’s also soulful (“House of My Soul”), twangy (“Old Things”), swampy (“Alligator Girl”), and even hook-y at times (the excellent “Zombie”). This record is filled with personality and artistry. It positions Slim as a standout storyteller worth listening to.
With album opener “Life is Confusing,” Slim ponders our purpose on this earth. “Life if confusing/And people are insane,” he harmonizes. It’s a gentle meditation on not allowing ourselves to be bogged down by the often bizarre experience of just being a human being. Slim often seems to be daring us to take a step back and pare things down. He encourages us not to overthink things. We should all just work on being as good as we can be, to ourselves and to each other. “If I had someone who loved me/Than I’d have somebody to love,” he sings on the hip-shaking groove “”Funny Feeling.” It’s a simple concept that Slim breathes new life into.
“What a gift it is/Just to be still,” he sings on “Bluebird.” And on one of the album’s best offerings, “Never Break,” he floats a lofty idea for 2017 lovers: “Let’s fall in love with our telephones off.” Slim wants to get back to basics and he makes a convincing case for it. On “Better Man,” Slim reaches peak goodness as he makes a vow to himself to strive to be a decent person, no matter what’s getting him down. And you can’t blame him for seeking out a little light in these dark times. After all, a little positivity never hurt anyone.