Finlay Morton’s love of sound has led him on journeys far beyond the edges of music or comfort. A songwriter at heart, the Scottish player took on a job as the official sound engineer at 10 Downing Street, which has led him into the most difficult international situations of the last couple of decades. He traveled in the midst of the war in Bosnia, witnessed the depravity in the aftermath of genocide of the Balkans, and trudged through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And while his international travels have found him in the epicenter of international angst up until recently, the songwriter remains.
Harvest the Wind, his third release and follow up to 2009’s Back to Basics, exposes his craft and global disposition, this time with a focus on green living and alternative energy sources. The title-track opens the album with a sunny guitar jangle and the songwriter urges listeners to prioritize new sources of fuel in order to save the world as we know it. “If there’s going to be anything left at the end,” he sings. “The first part’s depending on you.” Morton finds his easy bob-and-weave on “Chasing the American Dream,” but unfortunately, Morton’s message becomes trite, at times (“In At the Deep End,” “I’d Rather Be”). The painful truths that populate his international work have been polished, the edges rounded and their significance softened
Finlay Morton has the life experience and the penchant for songwriting that should equal success. But just as he has spent a career separated from the action by a microphone, he maintains a barrier between himself and the realities of which he writes. Morton could benefit from scratching the surface, and letting those realities bleed in.
Harvest the Wind is out now.