Connor Garvey looks beneath the surface with ‘Another End of a Year’

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Recommended Tracks:  “All These Things”, “Another End of a Year”, “Shine, Shine, Shine”
Artists You May Like: 
Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, Matt Nathanson

Anyone who looks up Connor Garvey will notice words like “engaging,” “self-aware,” and “impressive” in various quotes and reviews from notable press.  References to Paul Simon, Josh Ritter, and Jason Mraz are even in the mix, as audiences observe Garvey’s mature performance style and overall musicianship.  With a passion for music that dates back to his childhood and a gift for creating, Garvey has been able to share his talents with the world through seven albums, pouring his heart into each melody, each verse.  On his latest effort, Another End of a Year, Garvey releases his richest, most personal collection of songs to date with 11 tracks that capture his outlook on life and loss.

On the whole, Another End of a Year is a contemplative album, with Connor assessing various situations and roles of those around him.  In doing so, he takes a look at relationships and the way they shape him.  On “Lock Me Away,” Connor describes how it feels to be in that weird gray area before starting a new relationship, when you fully see yourself with this other person, but also see the potential for things to go wrong.  Connor passionately dives into what he is facing, singing, “A kiss while you’re sleeping / There’s so much to love / So lock me away,” thinking the best solution would be to remove himself from the equation.  Towards the end of the album, he speculates over a true kind of love, one that makes him place the needs of someone else before his own.  On “The Man I Want To Be,” Connor lists the ways that he has not been the ideal guy, with lines like “I’ve been the low to your high” and “I’ve been the cloud in your sky.”  In the end, he expresses how much he wants to change and be “a man you want to see.”  He expands on this notion even further with the closing track “Shine, Shine, Shine,” when he asks his better half to “shine, shine, shine,” never giving in to the darkness of the world.

When Connor released “Water to the Well” in May, we assumed that it exemplified some of the album’s heavier moments.  The relaxed feel of the song gave way to the defeated lyrics, with Connor revealing, “But, I can’t bring water to the well / I can’t make you love yourself.”  He was disappointed that he could not do more to help someone in need, but switches up his position on the title track, claiming that he is the one who is the problem.  Over a stripped-back accompaniment that consists mostly of strings and acoustic guitar, Connor shares, “I’m sorry I always let you down / I’m sorry it keeps coming round,” not sure where to turn.

Aside from these specific songs, there are others that are more general in nature.  On the charming “All These Things,” we hear about the passing of time.  The warm melodies of the electric guitar give the track a celebratory feel, as Connor declares, “All these things must go / All these things were everything,” noting that significant objects can change in value or meaning over time.  The passing of time also comes through on “The Song,” which notes the way particular songs can accompany significant memories.  A relative theme occurs on “Pendulum,” which keeps track of ongoing habits.  On the track, Connor wonders about the ways of someone in his life who “gets lost / gets found / floats up, comes down,” and asks “When did you become such a pendulum?”

Overall, Another End of a Year is a complex take at life.  It is a very smart album, as Connor boldly analyzes the mechanisms behind emotions or relationships.  Instead of giving us a love song that points out the splendors of romance and companionship or a sad song that wallows in self-pity, for instance, he gives us details that drive all that is at-play, going beneath the surface.  It is refreshing to hear such elaborate tracks, and with the straightforward indie folk productions and Connor’s honest delivery, Another End of a Year is definitely one to explore – especially if you are having quite a year yourself.

You can listen to Another End of a Year on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep up with Connor Garvey:  Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // YouTube // Website

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