The Dubliner’s atmospheric, lovelorn studio debut
Recorded in a pub, 2014’s Live at Whelans unveiled Dubliner Gavin James’s gift for a stirring melody. His first studio album refits many of those songs with sumptuousness and cinematic oomph. Thus “Ghost”’s gentle melancholy is elevated on swirling strings, “22” is rebuilt into a stadium-ready piano ballad and the title track, debuted here, swells with hymnal drama. Sometimes, though, James’s pain-singed voice is enough by itself and the spare intimacy of “Hole in My Heart” is wisely preserved.