We reviewed French artist, Romain Gutsy earlier this year, with his track, If You See Her. We were so impressed the Chanson style of his music that we very much looked forward to listening to his new track, If You Don’t Mind today at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
If You Don’t Mind is another singer-songwriter style track that sits a little in the gypsy jazz/klezmer domain. It’s a quirky and pleasant listen with, as before, some great instrumentation.
If You Don’t Mind is a track which lyrically aims to dispel the “sex, drugs and rock ’n roll” myth that surrounds musicians. What if being a nice guy is a component of being rebellious?! It’s a much needed turn on its head of a frustrating stereotype that is bestowed upon musicians regardless of their political and personal leanings.
In places, the track reminded us of Devil Makes Three, perhaps Dave Rawlings Machine. There’s some superb subtle instrumentation that creeps in as the song progresses, which is something Dave Rawlings often does that impresses us. Before you know where you are, you’ve gone from just guitar and vocals, to a whole host of extra instruments. In a track with a simple melody and chord sequence, this is a great trick to help keep the listener invested. We truly were – this is a superb track.
The clawhammer banjo adds a slight Americana feel and the minimal percussion of just shaker at the start is added to with a kind of “clip clop” horseshoe sound (for want of a better way of describing it!). This really adds to an overall vintage feel to the track.
The double bass keeps everything in time and there’s some occasional simple keys that help fill out the sound. A few harmonies in places all add together to make a full and interesting sound.
As with Romain’s previous track, there’s some great muted trumpet in If You Don’t Mind, although no solo this time – we’d been looking forward to one!!
From a production perspective, to our ears, the bass is a little heavy around 70Hz so a cut here would help to balance that out. Also, the acoustic guitar in the intro is resonating on the E so a careful surgical cut at 164Hz would reduce that peak. We feel the track could use a little boost in the high mids and highs too, a wide boost around 3.5kHz and another around 8kHz. These would add to the brightness and presence and bring out certain aspects of the percussion instruments. Finally, a light compressor / limiter and around 3dB of make up gain would add to the overall warmth and bring the volume up a little too.
A thoroughly enjoyable track from an artist who spans several genres effectively and shows us some superb musicianship on numerous instruments. Another great track from Romain Gutsy.