If you were like me, you may have felt mislead by the 2018 EP Down In Hell from Idaho-based Aaron Golay. I say misleading because the power, the presence, and the overall jaw-dropping sound Golay embodies in his live sets failed to properly convey to the EP. Instead, the EP became a more downplayed version of the songwriting style we’ve come to know over the years, yet lacking on the full-bore sound that is definitively Golay.
Now, in a year when no rules seem to apply and, well, nothing really seems to make much sense, Golay steps through the fog and delivers on the promise he’s been building for years.
Love, Lust and Heartache, the ten-track full-length debut release featuring Darcy Erickson on bass, Rase Littlefield on drums, with the help of producer Jake Neilson on keys and Schyler Gary contributing pedal steel guitar, and Michael Beauchemin contributing background vocals, Aaron Golay spreads his sound out and delivers with a force we’ve come to expect, but to a degree we could have only hoped for.
Don’t let the beard and image fool you, Aaron Golay and The Original Sin are anything but rough around the edges. The smooth sense of Americana, the enthralling rhythms, the impassioned guitar, it all melds together in a sound that is simply intoxicating. “Push it All Aside” opens the record with the imagery and conviction that is Golay. Dangerously so, the track appears to be another round of Down In Hell; that is, for about a minute and twenty seconds before the songwriter’s vibrato vocals carry the band, and ultimately sound, into the light. From that moment on, we find Love, Lust and Heartache is a modern Americana album that should not be shrugged off for any reason, let alone its (likely temporary) status as an independent record. “Another Friday Night” brings the rock, “All Night Long” dishes up bluesy undertones, and “Are We Ever Gonna Be” slices off the sense of Western Americana deeply rooted in Golay’s core. The album tosses aside cliché, it chews up and spits out stereotype. In all, Love, Lust and Heartache is the record we could only hope for from this mesmerizing musician and band.
As life feels like it is fraying at the edges, as we ask ourselves who to believe, almost serendipitously we’re given a lifeline that bleeds with authenticity from every beat to every vocal inflection. Love, Lust and Heartache is a record that can, should it arrive in the right hands, launch someone like Aaron Golay and The Original Sin into the stratosphere; justifiably so. For now, Golay would do well to keep his feet firmly planted. Because there we find his captivating talent, his sound. You would do well to give this record a spin.