@@@ Jake Blount: Once there was No Sun (Smithsonian Folkways, 2022) I got to today’s listens via The Line of Best Fit. First off I think it’s cool that an artist such as Jake Blount ends up on Smithsonian Folkways. After an opening track of just vocals it gets to it on the second track, The Downward Road. I like the upright bass and the energy, I like the whole thing including the rhymes that are a hip hop homage without evoking any theme that could be remotely evocative of hip hop. I’m on the third track, Didn’t it Rain, and I like the electric guitar but not the vocal arrangement which is closer to a modern r&b track than folk music. I’ve skipped to the track clipped below which is the pre-release track, so that’s the track the artist and label have decided is the best to pull folks into the record. It’s uplifting and interesting, I do appreciate how Blount does not conceive of folk music as a static form to be honored and he’s good to go and add other elements. I’m not sure I love it as much as I want.
@@@ Dutch Mustard: Magnifique (Bad Influence, 2022) This is an updated grunge rock track, big drum sound, simple and driving guitar figure and a female singer which is the twist. She’s doing a good job on the microphone, not oversinging and then boosting the energy at the chorus. I think Dutch Musard has listened to a lot of Nirvana records, which is fine it’s a formula open to all but familiarity breeds contempt. I would say this is too much of a bite here. Outside of her being a woman doing a grunge track there’s not much here to make this a unique track.