⌽ Avignon ⌽
Toby Driver aimed to make a sparse album of “traditional songwriting” and lead single “Avignon” achieves that goal. A quiet, haunting song, coupled with little more than Toby’s voice and electric guitar (and a nice amount of reverb).
Sparse and simple melody strummed on a crystal-clear tone of an electric guitar. Haunting vocals float on a background of barely but ever-changing keyboard chords, restrained bass work and discrete synths; immersing us in this dreamy, almost, tranquil state.
A subtle pulsebeat pushes Avignon along with an undercurrent of urgency, as Toby shines a black light on the weight of history bearing down on love:
As we stroll through holy Avignon.”
All of these elements, correspondingly, resound through the track itself; as the guitars first announce the bone-chilling adage which makes up the backbone of the track.
Driver’s deep vocals, which sing the main line of the track, complete this theme perfectly. He conveys the rich night, the heady romance of the conjured city, together with the rest of the elusive images the ballad hints at.
Meanwhile, Driver’s lyrics are impressively arcane and abstract. They speak of an affair, intermixed with an urban landscape, evoking the effervescent, historical quality of Avignon:
“She drew herself up like cigarette smoke”, such a brilliant line.
RIYL: Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass