It is often easy to blur the lines between reality and fantasy. Sometimes we can let fantasy blend into our reality, letting it warp our perspective, our goals and ambitions. The idea of wanting something so badly can leave us feeling a little empty and lacking a sense of place. This is exactly what A.O. Gerber’s ‘Another Place To Need’ battles with.
A multi-instrumentalist, Gerber plays guitar, piano, bass and synth on the record. A whole range of tones are heard throughout, horns, guitar and synth combine in a display of delicacy. Like the feeling of a soft breeze cutting through the humidity on a hot summer day. Trumpet, saxophone and light percussion prove to be suitable replacements for the senses, beautiful arrangements designed for escape, your sense of time enters a temporary stasis.
Often, the final third of some songs shatters your perceived engagement, out of nowhere the calm is broken by a jackhammer, a window-breaking fury just as the lyrics reach an emotive pinnacle. The effect is jarring, you sit and analyse every speck of the shrapnel. It is pure catharsis, a lifted weight.
There is a confused sense of mind throughout, time is taken to leave the familiarity of a city, for the relief of the coast. But the contrast is not to escape, it is to find space to breathe. She wants a love that is “embarrassing”, whilst wishing she could “drown this fucking heart of mine”, a state of constant contra. There is a toll to pay for this confusion, self-neglect, a lack of satisfaction and the emptiness of feeling completely alone.
The listening experience does not reflect the lyrical context. Often ‘Another Place To Need’ feels comforting, sometimes even mesmeric. The juxtaposition of a dream-like state with underlying tragedy finds a deep emotional resonance.
Words: Matthew Pywell
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