Indie Folk Album Review: Dustin McKamie’s new A Good Man Down

From the first bright notes on “Oh My My” listeners are going to think of indie folk pop acts like the Lumineers. I invite you to lean into this album and find some other elements as well. This is definitely a great time and one of the fastest approvals I’ve had on a submission lately. Let’s dig in to this new album from Dustin McKamie.

“Oh My My” reminds me of what I liked about the Lumineers, sure, but there’s also an element of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes here, notably with the horns. The production value on this track is outstanding. The lead vocal soars with a celebratory energy that permeates the track.

“Last Night” has more of a rock-based sound, full of bluesy and aggressive attitude. It’s got some angst to it that definitely defies the opening Lumineers poppy vibes. The darkness of the track allows for the expression of some relatable emotions, for sure.

The following “California Noise” has more of an acoustic base that fits within my wheelhouse. I appreciate the light banjo highlights as they dot the sonic landscape of this track. The vocal shows its versatility on this one, from a chill opening to a more raucous second half.

“Broken” has some lovely acoustic fingerpicking in the opening before introducing more of 70s era folk rock vibe. The organ work on this one gives it a bit of a different tone than some of the others on the album. Something about this one – probably the scathing lyrics – really feels more punk than anything else.

“I Don’t Need Another Lover (But I Want You)” is a fun, up tempo and rowdy track. The title might seem like it’s a love song, but it’s not really. It’s more of a song about desire than it is about “love” in the purest sense. The vibes on “Gone and Left Me Here” are similar. It’s got a sense of attitude and frustration. Again, like the opener, the horns take on a central role in defining this track.

The final song “The Sweetest Kind” is a sweet outro to the album, although the lyrics are a bit darker than you might expect at first blush. I appreciate the vocal harmonies on this one a great deal. The opening line is a bit startling, but the rest of the track mellows into something closer to a love song.

My favorites are far and away the opener “Oh My My” and the closer “The Sweetest Kind.” The album has a deeply personal vibe to it, expressing emotions that seem close to the creator’s own experiences. That said, it has an accessible style to it with many of the emotions being expressed being things that are far more universal. Fans of indie folk and folk rock will find a lot to like with this new album from Dustin McKamie.

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