by Tiana Feng
Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Newfoundland, now Toronto, band Gramercy Riffs followed their debut Its Heartbreak with Desire Trails, continuing on the theme of love and relationships.
Desire Trails begins strongly with “Heartbreak”, a perfect bridge from the former album, utilizing synths, “oohs” and Mara Pellerin’s honey vocals. They switch duties with Lee Hanlon taking over on the following title track. “Desire Trails” is probably the most radio ready tune of the entire album. The formula is there, memorable guitar lines, easy to follow along story verses and an earwormy chorus.
The album loses its momentum a little bit in “Promises” and “Daydreaming” but they capture my attention again in “Beat that My Heart Skipped”, a song that is sure to have you singing along by the end. “Dance with Me” is warm and inviting and I’d gladly give Hanlon a dance. When it breaks out into bells, I can’t think of anything else but Christmas. Hanlon bids goodnight in the deep-voiced “Fall Blues” and Pellerin sings a reply in “Goodnight”. In “Seasons Change” Hanlon reveals his weakness of being a jealous guy. Personally, I thought this was the wrong song to end the album on, as the two goodnights would have been more final and less abrupt.
In Desire Trails, we are presented with two people who sing of their desire to love but let their own flaws get in the way.