I Left a Candle Burning is the latest eight-track album from the alternative Kelowna (British Columbia, Canada) artist known as N. Sherman. The intro to this album, entitled “Cloud (featuring Rinnovare)” is perhaps the most aptly-titled song I’ve ever heard.
Whooshing synths certainly make this instrumental song sound as if it were taking the listener on a flight through clouds. It’s an ambient, soothing opener that reveals Sherman’s artistry without giving too much away about his overall style. It could’ve been an atmospheric electronic album, for all I knew.
I was certainly treated to a beautiful surprise on the second track. “Trenches” is a stunningly haunting acoustic track with fragile vocals and even more fragile lyrics. “Get home and turn on the TV / Wondering where life has gone.” Something about these simplistic words really struck a chord with me. Sherman wrote lyrics that he knew would resonate with so many listeners, and yet he didn’t do it in a forlorn way. The song simply feels introspective. There’s a glimmer of hope in the beautiful melody and the words that he’s penned.
“Do You See Me?” is one of the gentlest tracks on the entire record. Sherman’s brittle vocals sound as if they might break, and the song almost feels like an a cappella piece because the rest of the instrumentals are so subtle. Stuttering synths ebb and flow beneath his transfixing singing. The sparse but well-placed piano plinks add some color to this surreal landscape too. In the same way as a good Radiohead song, this Sherman track amazes me through its complex subtlety. There are so many gorgeous layers at play here. The climactic swell at the end is truly breathtaking. There’s no doubt that this is my favorite song on the album.
It’s worth giving a shout out to “Covered Tracks” too. There are so many spectacular songs on this album, but it’d be a disservice to overlook the fantastic closer that Sherman has composed. Another understated but utterly dazzling piano arpeggio dominates this stripped-back final track on I Left a Candle Burning — it confirms my belief that this artist is an undiscovered gem. He certainly deserves a huge fanbase for his fantastic songwriting and brilliant voice.
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