Though subtle in its first appearance in the song, the vocal harmony in Sébastien Lacombe’s “Gold in Your Soul” is at the backbone of every provocative beat in this latest single from the Montreal-stationed singer/songwriter, and while I wouldn’t say it’s the only element here that qualifies as spellbinding in tone and design, it’s definitely one of my favorites every time I give this track a spin. Sébastien Lacombe is putting melody before everything else in his new single and its music video, and while he isn’t really teaching us anything about his artistry we didn’t already know beforehand in “Gold in Your Soul,” I don’t think this composition was exclusively meant to score new fans for this seasoned musician.

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The drums could have benefited from just a little more volume in the master mix, but at the same time, I can understand – and eventually grow to appreciate – the minimalist aesthetic that is in play here. By keeping the percussive tones to a minimum in the grander scheme of things “Gold in Your Soul” is allowed to serve as a display vehicle for Lacombe’s sophisticated way of marrying soft vocals with cutting guitar melodies, rather than simply highlighting his ability to come up with a slick beat in any compositional circumstance.

This might not be the most romantic serenade that Sébastien Lacombe has committed to tape in his career, but it’s certainly on par with what he’s produced in past chill-inducing ballads (most of which, I might add, were somewhat similar in structure to what we find in “Gold in Your Soul”). Where some critics might see this release as playing it safe, I think both the video and the song on its own were conceived with the intention of affirming a stylistic trend not for this songwriter’s genre, but for his own work moving forward.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Canadian underground lately, then you have probably already noticed how impossible it’s been to miss word of Sébastien Lacombe’s latest release in the past month, but it’s easy to see what all the buzz has been about even in the most cursory examinations of “Gold in Your Soul” and the surreal music video made in support of its debut. Lacombe has been at this game for a long time now, but if this is a glimpse into his sonic future, I think it would be safe to say we can expect a lot more magic from his brand in the next decade ahead.

Sebastian Cole