Jordan Pratt – “Anywhere in the world”
-The easy going acoustic style of this piece is relaxing initially, however as the song develops it has a sense of urgency to it. The composition swells to a lush, rewarding sound. If you pay attention to the lyrics, it’s about striving to be with someone no matter what. It’s fascinatingly romantic and seems perfect for a film soundtrack. Pratt’s vocal fits into the mix with an idyllic charm, evincing tones of Bon Iver.
Jason Tyler Burton – “Comment section”
-I’ve compared Burton to Dylan in the past. I’m happy to hear that he’s still writing the melancholic folk music that draws all of us to the great ones. Burton’s vibe and phrasing show evidence of many years of emulating those who have come before us. I genuinely appreciate his rootsy, organic vibe. Each line feels like it’s been scrutinized and carefully chosen so that by the time we hear it, it’s something that would make Ramblin’ Jack Elliott himself proud.
Sea Offs – “For familiarity’s sake”
-The opening energy of this track is relaxed, allowing the thought provoking lyrics to rise to the top. I can’t help but be mostly overwhelmed by the electric guitar work in this mix. It would be interesting to hear the song with the vocal taking a more “front and center” position in the mix. That said, the whole folk rock energy of the piece is endearing. If you’ve ever pushed aside a much needed change in your life because it felt numbingly difficult — this song is for you.
Sickhorse – “Diner dreams”
-Talk about a genre defying song… I honestly didn’t know what to do with this thoughtful, creative, and undeniably unique song from Sickhorse. It feels like a classic Americana rock-tinged fever dream. If you’ve ever driven a classic car to one of those skate-up diner joints, this song will connect with you. Yet it’s got this synicism to it that I can’t quite put my finger on exactly. It’s like an episode of cheers where they talk about diner dates… with some fantastic guitar work.
Adam Melchor – “30 minutes”
-I haven’t met Adam Melchor yet, but I hope that I’ll have that honor some day soon. He’s an incredibly talented writer and performer. Something about the energy of his compositions gives me that Ben Rector punchy energy that draws me back over and over. It’s definitely folk music, but there’s always this pop energy that sounds like he spent a lot of time listening to Brian Wilson records. I’m not mad about it. I’m just trying to describe what I hear. I’ll take my folk pop with a dash of west coast harmony every day of the week.
The Found – “Wandering”
-Sometimes you hear a song that does it for you from the first chord. I don’t know why, but this one made me pay attention literally from the beginning. Then these angellic voices entered the track and I stopped what I was doing to listen to them. These are some of the most breathtaking harmonies I’ve heard yet in 2020. The easy comparison is The Staves, but keep in mind that the ladies’ harmony style has been around for centuries. The Found deserve credit for their own deeply melodic, transcendent sound. This one works for meditation for sure.
Jenn Grinels – “Evidence” ft. Marc Broussard
-Let’s talk about two things of note in this track; first of all, the production is exceptional. The instrumentation balances extremely well, allowing the second point of note to work. The lead vocal is OUTSTANDING. Before Marc Broussard, an award-winning artist in his own right, even enters the track, the listener feels pretty good. When the pop blues energy takes off, the song feels just right. You’ll move your body and feel movement in your soul. More than a performance, the track feels like a living entity. It’s got a vibe and you need it in your life.
Garden Party – “Mt St Helens”
-Folk duos seep into my soul easily. But it’s actually incredibly difficult to make a successful folk duo because every note has to be perfect. Garden Party have that delicate chemistry down pat. The easy comp is to say someone like the Civil Wars, but honestly I don’t think that’s fair to Garden Party. Instead, someone like Jenny and Tyler or Native Sibling are more appropriate. The volcanic metaphor works better than you might think here, but I could listen to this without the lyrics and just enjoy the two voices in harmony. This is (by my research) their first song release EVER, so I’m certainly looking forward to watching this act evolve in the near future.