The soft acoustic debut album from Argentinian songwriter Diego Davidenko finds him disconnected and alienated in his adopted homeland, America
inger-songwriter Diego Davidenko’s debut solo release opens with I And You, two lovers reflecting on life’s beauty against the backdrop of a setting sun. It is a delicate lullaby with Davidenko’s crisp vocal softly cooing over a shuffling guitar. It is also a massive red herring, a moment of connection placed at the start of a record far more concerned with isolation and a lack of love. Having moved to America at the age of nine It Isn’t Home is an album yearning to belong.
This shift in theme is apparent from the second track Your Body, where Davidenko sings “listening to your breath it’s suffocating my thoughts” over a pulsating South American rhythm and suddenly everything feels alien. The recriminations continue on First Thought Of The Day, a wakening paranoia haunting the singer’s thoughts as “it’s easier to hide than take a look / I’ll just assume the worst.” The simple guitar and drum accompaniment leaves the troubadour’s plight in plain view.
By keeping the arrangements sparse, Davidenko ensures that his story is heard. The occasional accordion or backing vocal may lend a hand, as on LillyAnn, Where Are You, but the album is dominated by the singer and his guitar. Whether railing against organised religion, as on the racing The Preacher Say or paying homage to his inspiration Elliott Smith on Elliott – a near perfect reproduction of his idol’s sound – Davidenko’s lyrics are the dry incites of the disconnected observer.
By the time the gently affecting Look My Way brings the album to its close, you feel a slight sense of relief at escaping, but you are also glad to have spent time listening to an outsider’s lament.
Verdict: A unique voice coming to terms with a strange land