Album Review: Reliable Child – Some Blue Imagination

Reliable Child is the solo project of Pittsburgh, USA-born and raised artist Mike Berginc. He’s just caught my attention thanks to his compilation album that brings together singles and collaborations from the past three year. It’s called Some Blue Imagination.

By Graeme Smith

The album opens with Mike’s most recent single Little Conversations. Produced by Rob Chiarappa and lighting up the blogosphere, it’s a beautiful start. It opens with gentle percussion and acoustic guitar before Mike’s soulful and compelling vocals come in. He has a way with words, bringing to life an emotional story through imagery. A catchy chorus is a highlight.

From there we get a trip down memory lane into Reliable Child’s work since 2021. Best Bet is a slow and reflective number rich with metaphor. A live version of Buzzin is captivatingly intimate before Wanna Be Love sees Mike team up with the band Lydia. Its delicate, timid love story is perfectly articulated and its instrumentals are a lush wonder. It’s another highlight.

Perfume on the Page brings with it finger-picked guitar and melancholic romance mixed with a bright sense of hope. Close to Me is a brooding country folk moment before Grayside gives us something a little different. A hip-hop percussive rhythm underpins some characteristic acoustic folk in the verse before we get an explosive and dreamy chorus. It’s a final highlight.

The album then closes with two more live renditions, firstly the smouldering, bittersweet Down. Then we revisit Little Conversations with a sense of raw authenticity.

If you like country and folk, then you’re going to find a lot to love about this collection by Reliable Child, yet there’s enough innovation running through it to please even those who wouldn’t consider it their preferred genre. If, like me, you’re just discovering Mike’s work, then this is the perfect introduction. I can’t wait to see what the next few years brings from him.

You can listen to Some Blue Imagination below.