Pop-rock artist Gwynn Gold recently released her debut album, Land of Honey, a 12-track collection produced by six-time Grammy-winner Jimmy Hoyson.
Gwynn explains, “It plucks snapshots from life experiences—most of them my own—in order to craft a piece of art that takes the listener on a journey throughout either a person’s entire life or the arc of a traumatic or formative event in one’s life.”
Trained as an opera singer at Indiana University, on Land of Honey, Gwynn burrows into the essence of classic rock, a genre almost foreign to her. According to Gwynn, “I wrote all the music for this album, and some of the lyrics while I was being trained as a classical singer in high school and then Indiana University. I approached this album as dipping my toe into the pool of creative expression in this form. I ended up diving in full force and dropped out of college in order to fully pursue this dream.”
The album begins with “Teardrop Tattoo,” pushing out tasty savors of disco-laced rock topped by Gwynn’s distinctive, crystalline voice. Luminous, skiffing guitars infuse the harmonics with gooey psychedelic textures.
Highlights include “Double Yellow Line,” which rolls out on a driving rhythm supporting layers of country-rock relish. Gwynn’s voice reflects hints of twangy hues and is accompanied by radiant vocal harmonies.
A personal favorite, “Baby Let’s,” travels on creamy, oozing R&B flavors tinted with smooth jazz aromas. A plush, braying saxophone gives the song luscious, sensuous vibes. “Heading Home,” a delicious Americana tune reminiscent of The Band, features dripping tones from a harmonica, while Gwynn narrates a tale of going home.
The title track closes the album, a scrummy blend of Americana and country blues with hints of gospel. The glow of the organ gives the song cashmere waves of coloration as Gwynn’s evocative voice infuses the lyrics with tender nostalgia.
Talking about the flow of the album from song to song, Gwynn says, “The maturation and increasing symbolism in the lyrics paired with the increasingly more intimate and simpler sound from beginning to end signifies the same sort of maturation one has throughout their life.”
She goes on, adding, “Lyrical themes repeat throughout the entire album, resulting in a cohesive and unifying piece of work. The last song, ‘Land of Honey,’ is the culmination of either the spiritual journey the person has gone through or the end of their life. It starts with the lyrics: Serene notes float through an empty hall. Memories permeate through these walls. And it ends with the lyrics: Serene notes float through an empty hall. You have left because you deserve to have it all.”