After releasing his debut album The Cost of Living, St. Arnaud, singer and songwriter from Edmonton, Canada, has finally put out his new LP Love and The Front Lawn.
Some words we would use to describe this piece would be easy, breezy and beautiful. No, it’s not Covergirl, it’s something more profound. St. Arnaud gives us a refreshing view on what indie-pop/folk can be by giving us heartbreaking, honest, and vulnerable lyrics paired with upbeat, bright and optimistic melodies. Aside from the sad lyric/happy melody combination, the instrumentation of this album is what really sets it apart.
Not only do we get to hear unique guitar sounds, in many songs there are various percussion instrument sounds, like claves, different cymbal sounds and even some vibraphone. We also have to talk about the use of the trumpet in this album. It appears in a handful of songs throughout the LP and sometimes it’s just vaguely in the background but other times it’s front and center. It gives the songs an even more upbeat feel and makes you want to nod your head to the beat.
Before the release of Love and The Front Lawn, St. Arnaud released four of the ten songs as singles. The first single he put out from the album was “Big Winner” in October of 2021. This has been a long awaited album and we’re so happy it’s finally here.
The 36 minute album kicks off with “Cle Elum, WA,” which has a very chill, easy-going feel. This theme continues through the LP. Perfect music for a relaxed summer day.
“Catching Flies” (one of the four singles that were released prior) and “Sophie” keep the upbeat melody through the various instruments used. We then slow down with “Loving” and “How Could I Ever Compare” but it eventually picks back up with “Feeling Better.”
“Enjoy Yourself” is very groovy and gets you up and moving once again. We like the lyrics a lot in this one. It gives you a care-free feel and a whatever happens, happens mentality. It holds up with the theme of the album – be kinder to yourself, let go, and try to enjoy where you are. We think this song really embodies that idea.
The album rounds out with “Big Winner,” “Tie It All Together,” and “Giving Up.” We think some of the most heartbreaking lyrics lie within the last track, “Giving Up.” With lyrics like ‘You said it could only be me, but you never seem happy in my company’ and ‘Are you giving up on love or just giving up on me’ it’s a powerful track to leave off on.
Overall, we really enjoyed Love and The Front Lawn. Don’t let the upbeat, happy melodies fool you – the lyrics cut deep and hold a true sense of vulnerability and relatability that is refreshing. This album has great pacing throughout and proves to be an incredibly cohesive piece. We can’t wait to see what St. Arnaud does next!
St. Arnaud is going on tour starting May 12th until May 22nd. All eight shows are in Canada. He will then head the the Netherlands where he’ll play at Left of the Dial 2022 in October. More info about his tour here.
We think you should give Love and The Front Lawn a listen. You won’t be disappointed!
Our Rating of Love and The Front Lawn : 9/10
Subscribe to updates Beyond the Stage for more music news and reviews featuring your favorite artists.