Nigel Stonier possess a work ethic that is to be admired when considering his background of producer, multi-instrumentalist, co-writer and singer-songwriter. It would seem, therefore, that a moment of rest is simply a function that never applies to Nigel Stonier having built up a considerable CV working with the likes of Thea Gilmore, The Waterboys, Joan Baez, Martha Wainwright, Fairport Convention to name a few whether serving as producer, collaborator or lending a hand when a certain musical instrument was required to help fill in the missing pieces of an album in progress. The hard work continues apace in 2019 with the release of ‘Navigate’; a self-penned album made up of ten tracks and co-produced with Seadna McPhail at Airtight Studios, Manchester. With ‘Navigate’ pitched as a solo record, additional help arrives from the side-lines with a variety of musicians including the previously mentioned Thea Gilmore assisting on vocals. The song titles of Nigel Stonier’s latest album drops hints to current political and social unrest, not to mention apathy from some corners, with the opening duo of ‘Bad Dancers of A Certain Age’ and title-track ’Navigate’ picking at the seams of recent history and associating this with various ills occurring today. The opening bow of songs leans towards indie with the nagging yet welcome reference of Ian Broudie’s The Lightning Seeds constantly springing to mind, and largely due to both parties possessing a clever knack of crafting songs that sound upbeat yet further investigation reveals lyrics of a darker nature, but not forgetting the dry humour as well, with the catchy ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ one such example. That is precisely where Nigel Stonier finds himself during ‘Navigate’ because despite wrestling with numerous problems, there is hope of a positive outcome, it’s just a matter of trying to find a way of sailing though the troubles in order to reach the other side. Such relief can be found via ‘When It Gets Cold’, ‘The Strange Untried’ and ‘Me With You’ mainly due to the tender sides of these folk compositions offering any sense of comfort. Seemingly never one in need of motivation, Nigel Stonier’s persistence and hard work looks to be paying off as ‘Navigate’ is a clever record that chews over current events as well as looking inwards to personal experiences, in an attempt to make sense of the sea of confusion many of us find ourselves in.