The quiet lurching groove of “Gold in Your Soul.” The decadent yearning of a warm-voiced troubadour in “So You Say.” A bit of ominousness coupled with outright swagger in “When the Devil Rides with Me.” All-out chaos for compositional fusspots in “Mr. Suicide Man.” If you thought Sébastien Lacombe was about to step back from experimentation with his guitar in-hand in the new album Fly, you’re in for quite the surprise upon taking some time out to spend with “Every Man Needs Loving,” “I Am Who I Am” and every other song that you’ll discover in the LP’s tracklist. Lacombe might have come into this latest project humbly, but at the end of its 33 minutes of play, he sounds like the road-warn star he’s always been meant to be. 

Aside from its debut single in “Gold in Your Soul,” Fly’s biggest hit thus far is “My Thousand Dollar Car” and the track’s meticulously-arranged music video. Though not at all psychedelic in style, there’s a cerebral element to this song’s cosmetics I wasn’t expecting to get hit with here, and to some extent it makes the lead-in to the title cut (in the album) all the more dreamlike. Lacombe is as comfortable basking in the ambient harmonies of this tune as it would appear he is in the forthright pop of “Rise,” which isn’t as common a combination of skills that some might wish it could be in 2020. 

I didn’t know much about Sébastien Lacombe before a colleague encouraged me to give this record a really close analysis of its brightest songs – and, namely, its hot single “My Thousand Dollar Car” – but not that I’ve gotten to know his approach a bit, I think it would be criminal of him to stay away from the stage once things start getting back to normal in the music world next year. Everything about Fly seems to jump out of the speakers and fill the air around us with a color normally reserved for the crowds packing a concert hall, and I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like in person for myself in the near future. 

Garth Thomas