David Picco exposes his Heartland Country soul in “Out Of The Past”

Singer-songwriter David Picco is back with a fifth studio album, Out Of The Past. It features ten new songs that run through a roots rock stream but with a heartland country soul. It follows the course of 2015’s Start Againthough this time he kicks things up a notch by incorporating deeper and more intimate themes, which are bound to instantly grab listeners’ attention as they cruise through this rock and roll journey.    

The album was recorded independently at Lab Of Chaos in Picco’s native St. John’s(NL), his second LP recorded there following a 12-year stint in Toronto. The warmth of being back home is felt throughout the album, as Picco is able to explore with ease different themes through life anecdotes that often deal with dark matter such as loss, tragedy and confusion. In the end, his stories relate to all-too-common life experiences and he manages to accept their fate with humility and sometimes humour. Though it helps that he can rely on line-up of trusted musicians to complement the lyrics, his modest approach to songwriting is what ultimately gives this album its artistic appeal.

Out Of The Past kicks off with the foot-stomper ‘’Down The Road And Gone’’, a country rock tune reminiscent of a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers hit in which Picco describes the erring life of a touring musician who is constantly on the move—and doesn’t stop at any cost. It’s earnest and straight-forward, and serves as a contrast with the more sensitive content featured on certain other songs.  

Video for down the road and gone

Standout tracks include: ‘’See You Around’’, a country ballad that borrows Mark Knopfler’s sensibility for soft songs. A classic tale of what-we-could’ve-been, Picco tries to make sense of the apparent tension with words such as ‘’ I’d rather run when’s my back’s against the wall’’. It’s the cowardly behaviour we often adopt when we’re too scared to take the plunge, and Picco carves great piece with this reference. 

‘’Nowhere To Run’’ shows the singer’s more vulnerable side as he pleas for guidance and expresses remorse towards a loved one. The song ends with harmonizing oohs and slide guitars that intertwine throughout the last minute, which further elevates the track to bring out its delicate nature.

Last but not least, the album closes with ‘’ Out Of the Past’’, which was inspired by the recent loss of close friends. At 7 minutes, this farewell piece offers a lot of space to convey emotion and its quest to carry on is felt through an ascending chorus, thus making it an instant favourite.

All things considered, Out Of The Past is a clear manifestation of David Picco’s constant evolution as a singer-songwriter. After 5 albums, he offers us his most personal body of work yet while showcasing some diversity with assertiveness. He may be far away from the bright lights nowadays, but coming home has made Picco take a path of honesty and creative rebirth, and listeners are bound to appreciate that.