While this album shows that the world is not perfect, Vial's wholesome singing serves as a source of comfort when describing tragedy. His beautiful songs play a paternal role by gently guiding us through the heavier subjects. And boy does he deliver. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, Mike Vial provides a level of intrigue to his music with his rhythmic playing and complex song structures.
Although Vial plays without other musicians, (which feels appropriate on this personal record) you feel the depth of a full band from his practiced style, especially when he uses his 12-string guitar to stunning effect. As the songwriter says, "I had a one simple rule during tracking: I would play the guitar and sing at the same time. We would use no overdubs during the mixing process. My goal was to offer you a real performance that captures the energy of my live shows. If I made a mistake, I'd either have to play the song again, or live with it; like life."
Another reason that A World That's Bigger works so well is the compelling imagery in all of the song titles. Whether it is the Little Drum referring to his daughter's "beating heart" or These Shoes symbolizing the child that could have been if not for a miscarriage, Vial paints a picture that stays with you. At one point Vial sings, "We can take the salt off the earth before the heavy winter. If we don’t become bitter." That seems to be the larger focus of this record: keeping a grip on your positivity even in the face of adversity. And that's a good lesson for all of us.
You can learn more and purchase A World That's Bigger on Mike Vial's website.
P.S One thing I especially love is that he posted a playlist of his musical influences for the record. You can hear a lot of similarities and it is a neat look into some amazing music. Listen here: http://mikevial.com/2017/01/20/playlist-world-influences/