Within the indie world, Gold Connections had a pretty noteworthy start. Creator Will Marsh got his start right alongside Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo, back in their college days. Marsh even had a stint as the band’s rhythm guitarist early on, but he quickly found himself wanting to be in the front.
Though his name might not be as well known as Toledo’s yet, the Gold Connections full-length debut might just do the trick.
Popular Fiction, released May 4, takes folk and blues influences and streamlines them into a classically timeless rock sound. Marsh describes the record as his musical coming of age, and each of its 10 songs is another piece of the journey.
Gold Connections Finds A Signature Voice in Popular Fiction
Now largely independent, Marsh has truly found his own sound in the new Gold Connections record.
In highs and lows and everything in between, the album explores different moods and styles. It all starts with “Icarus,” which happens to be a hard-hitting opener.
Gold Connections wastes no time getting into the weeds of rock. The song is no small undertaking, as it’s well over seven minutes in length. It grows out of a seemingly mellow guitar riff, soon building to a pure burst of energy, Marsh’s voice pushing the limits as he nearly shouts the song’s refrain.
“Get back! Get back! Get back to the rock and roll!”
It’s a great contrast to “Salt,” which has an unmistakable retro vibe. The vocals have an almost lazy quality, and the music is completely unhurried.
It slowly swells into an instrumental break, the most melodic material thus far.
Marsh grew up a self-proclaimed “Dylan obsessive,” so it only makes sense that Bob Dylan would be one of his biggest musical inspirations. The influence is obvious in this track: it’s all about the lyrics. Though “Salt” is the shortest, possibly most simple offering on the record, it’s valuable in its own right. If Popular Fiction is a coming-of-age tale, this song takes it back to where it all began.
The penultimate track of the album, “Plague 8” stands out as the most emotional offering.
Gold Connections has that timeless rock sound, and this song explores the concept of time itself. It’s endless, passing quickly but somehow not moving at all.
“Nights are like the years / they pass on by,” Marsh sings in the chorus.
The musical highlight of the song is its bridge, a swift change in mood marked by an instrumental interlude. Marsh’s voice sails over complex instrumental layers, raw and honest. Each instrumental line takes on a life of its own, winding and exploring until the song’s end.
Overall, Popular Fiction offers a little bit of everything in the wide scope of indie rock. Ever coming back to folk and blues influences, Gold Connections has Will Marsh written all over it. The record is unmistakably him, and it’s obvious he’s truly found his voice.
Follow Gold Connections: