I tend to become very skeptical when I hear of a new singer-songwriter releasing an album about heartbreak or lost love. I’ve heard it all before, I think. My friends also say that nobody can top off Taylor Swift for heartbreak songs anyways (although I don’t listen to her music, so who am I to judge?!). Thank goodness for the The Autumn Portrait who opened my eyes!
Freddie Mojallal is a West Coaster transplanted to Toronto. He performs as The Autumn Portrait and brings heartfelt, honest lyrics and well-crafted folk music to the forefront with his sophomore full-length album, Tired Love, which was released on October 2nd of this year.
The nine songs on the album meld upbeat acoustic guitar and simple arrangements with mournful lyrics sung often in close harmony. The opening song’s lyrics: “It’s good to see you happy/I never wanted anything else/I love to see you smiling/Even if it’s with someone else/This is goodbye,” set the emotional tone for the whole album. It describes a love that’s failed and greeted by acceptance. The Autumn Portrait bares his honest heart after a lost love and that sincerity shows.
Listeners of The Tallest Man on Earth and Damien Rice will appreciate Mojallal’s unique and vulnerable vocal style. His voice strains for notes with an obvious emotional edge. The album’s title track conveys the emotion of a failed relationship that has reached its end, and Mojallal’s singing reflects the weariness, pain, finality, and eventual hope that the situation brings.
Tired Love’s songs reflect a maturity gained from relationships and life, but also from The Autumn Portrait’s experiences while touring across Canada several times as a three-piece band (the strain this causes on a relationship is referenced in “Can I Come Back Home”).
They have also performed at some of Toronto’s largest musical festivals including NxNE. It is easy to understand why The Autumn Portrait has been featured on CMT Canada and is regularly played on commercial radio: the songs are well-crafted and relatable.
Mojallal’s songwriting doesn’t fall into the folk and country trap of sappy breakup songs with no hope for a future. “You Help Me See the Light” is an upbeat and thankful song for a friend who lifts his spirits. Focusing on all sorts of relationships, and how those relationships shape a life, is a strength that makes Tired Love an easy listen. There is even hope for a future love or a love rekindled amidst the mourning, something I don’t hear in most pop songs nowadays.
The Autumn Portrait is a breath of fresh air amongst today’s radio-friendly country and overly-weird folk. He is simply a guy singing about real situations, and singing about them well. Tired Love relates to my feelings, my thoughts, doubts, and my dreams. I’m sure it will relate to yours as well, so go on! Lend The Autumn Portrait your ears and your heart!
THE AUTUMN PORTRAIT LINKS:
Official Website: www.theautumnportrait.com