Geoff Gibbons is a Vancouver-based singer-songwriter; this four-song EP is merely the latest in a long string of releases. There’s a contemplative and majestic feel to these songs, with arrangements that put the vocals (and, by extension, the lyrics) right out front. The instrumentation is solid and subtle, but it’s all designed specifically to provide a backdrop for those lyrics. The title track of the EP is a rumination on violence and humanity’s, well, inhumanity. But notably, the melancholy song aims to be positive and uplifting. “Please Remember Me” is a Dylanesque number with accordion, whistling and clippety-clop percussion all in support of Gibbons’ voice and guitar.
“Soldier Soldier” explores the idea of those in the military ultimately being betrayed by those who sent them to battle; Gibbons’ lyric makes a point of being nonspecific; the effect of that approach is that the song’s message and point are timeless, not tied to any specific situation. “The Other Side” is a dreamy piece that recalls Dan Fogelberg; the airy arrangement creates a meditative feel. The song’s backing vocals are ethereal.
At under 18 minutes, Shadow of a Stone is brief, but anyone who enjoys this EP can go on to explore at least three previous full-length releases.