With a strong country influence, The Hiding Magpies album searching for gold is very usual for the genre.
Straight away with Forgotten Town, you’re met with a laid back guitar and a bluesy organ that’s straight out of a gospel style folk track. Even the vocal twang of the singer is there, though it’s more North of England than Nashville. It’s enjoyable in a way that’s very familiar and easy going.
Make It Alright, is a bit more upbeat, with a faster tempo, and the organ replaced by a piano to accentuate the song. There’s a happiness to Make It Alright, which can be boiled down to its wholesome theming and lovely guitar solo towards the end.
The first ballad of the album, Somewhere Down The Road, slows things down to a laid down kind of pace. It’s super slow and is a great country crooner, backed up by genre appropriate sounds and instruments. Surprisingly, The Hiding Magpies, seem to be able to draw a hopeful nature out of every song they write. There’s always a glint of hope and happiness, despite the theming behind the song. Somewhere down the road is a notable song as far as this idea goes. It describes a couples struggle, but there’s reconciliation ‘somewhere down the road’.
Devil In My Soul, is much more bluesy and hails the switch back from piano to organ. It’s a clear signal of The Hiding Magpies utilising the backing sound to really solidify the tone of each song. Devil In My Soul, is much more of an out there blues rocker that boasts quite the attitude, right down to every little guitar flourish. The solo in particular brings in some spicy guitar distortion to add even more style.
I Don’t Have To Think Twice, is short and sweet. It leans heavy on the organ, but it just adds a singalong kind of element. It’s easy to keep to the beat and the chorus is quite infectious. Despite the short length, it doesn’t overstay the welcome at all because of this. Because the beat being so simple could have left it feeling a little overdone had it not been for the sub 3-minute length.
By Your Side, is quite forgettable frankly. It follows the two lead songs for the album in Devil In My Soul and I Don’t Have To Think Twice. It suffers for this, but it would have to be the strongest song on the whole album to do anything otherwise. Apart from an interesting bridge that builds to a solid conclusion, By Your Side just can’t cut the mustard in much else.
Making a much more solid impression is, It’s All A Lie. Despite The Hiding Magpies overwhelmingly positive feel to every song of theirs on record, It’s All A Lie is surprisingly scathing. It covers the singers thoughts on a manipulative person. Despite the scathing lyrics, it’s a nice contrast to the wall to wall positivity within the lyrics of the other tracks. On top of this, it’s a much more memorable song for it’s groovy hook and echoey guitar solo to close it out.
In The Dirt, the longest song on Searching For Gold, seems to be a continuation of the theming in It’s All A Lie. It just keeps up the more attitude laden oomf in its lyrical content. As far as the music, there’s a predominant focus on the bass, acting as the backbone and making for another blues rock scorcher.
To Understand Me once again adds more contrast, following the longest with the shortest. Picking the pace back up, it’s a fast paced rock’n’roll track that’s almost punk with its length and free spirited tone. Though a little samey at times with its repeated lyrics, its still enjoyable.
Closing out the album is the bands namesake, The Hiding Magpie. After a mysterious intro, the song explodes for a moment, before moving back to a gentle and minimalist pace. It’s certainly the most diverse song on Searching For Gold, employing much more technical aspects. It makes for a fantastic closer just for how fresh it feels. Filled with after effects and mystery in it’s lyrics, it’s a very different song than anything else on the album.
Searching For Gold as a whole can be summed up by fairly easily. It’s filled with good quality songs, produced with great technicality and with a few tricks here and there to push the theming just a little further. It’s a good listen even for those uninterested in country, purely due to how laid back and easy to listen to it is.