Joey Kneiser of Glossary releases “Moonlight For The Graveyard Heart” just in time for the holidays.

Joey Kneiser: Moonlight For The Graveyard Heart (This Is American Music)

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Joey Kneiser, front man of Tennessee’s Glossary, is taking a break from his band’s up-tempo 70’s spangled pop with his latest solo offering. Moonlight For The Graveyard Heart, Kneiser’s self-produced solo EP (releasing on December 11th by This Is American Music), shines with its often sobering take on the introspective singer-songwriter.

Clocking it at just under 21 minutes, it might be easy to miss how good these songs are, and just let the music glide over you. While it doesn’t take an attentive listener to hear Kneiser’s immaculate engineering, the twinkle of his pianos and the warmth of his throaty vocals, it may take one to fully appreciate the artist’s assertions about love, loss, faith, and hope.

Kneiser’s songs don’t merely make suggestions about relationships, they don’t offer a possible explanation, they tell you the way it is. “You’ll never get back the feeling, once the feeling is gone,” Kneiser sings in “Goodbye Iris”. It’s hard to argue.

A capable, and honest songwriter, Kneiser appears as a multi-instrumentalist Randy Newman, except with an honest, and completely irony-free outlook. His sound has just the slightest southern twang (though thankfully just the slightest), but its pleasant and calming overtones would lend itself well to a night spent in drinking wine, talking about unimportant important things, like the overview effect or the plight of the American introvert.

Opening track, “So Many Midnights Ago,” is probably the most heartbreaking, and hopeful of the songs. The dichotomy of lines like “This life may find me someday standing at the gates of hell, but I’ll get back to you, you know somehow I will,” is clear. The label provided abstract quotes Joey on his goals for the album: “I wanted something that felt dark without being macabre, [but] there needed to be a spark of hope even in the most desperate of places.” His lyrical approach may not be subtle, but it certainly is effective.