‘Outlier’ by Chris DuPont (Album)
Seeking solace in remoteness has enabled this American songwriter to find an inner peace, which shines through on this long-player
The second album from Ypsilanti singer-songwriter Chris DuPont finds him quietly observing from the outside – clearly he is the outlier of the album’s title. From this vantage point, DuPont is able to pick through his emotions and thoughts, placing them over his soft folk music, as if not wanting to be noticed until he is sure of himself once again.
It is the detached feeling that washes over Outlier and lends it an eerie hue. It also allows DuPont to delve deep inside himself and question his own identity. “I’m just fuming quiet, wondering where my innocence went,” he rages on Cut The Tie, but by the time of serene album closer Antiphon, a sense of calm acceptance seems to have been restored.
Other highlights include the piano ballad Holding It Together and the beautifully orchestrated Evergreen Waltz, which breaks out in glorious technicolour by the end – another signal of hope for the observant watcher. It is moments like this which prevent Outlier from becoming overly maudlin.
There is clearly a spirituality underpinning DuPont’s ruminations and a sense of questioned belief cuts through each of the 10 songs. That he signs off with a rousing “halleluiah” suggests that his time spent alone in the wilderness has helped him come full circle. It is a redemptive journey that is worth accompanying him on.
Verdict: Candid and cathartic folk