Thursday, October 16, 2014

Artist to Watch: Shakey Graves

With the cool fall air rolling in, my neck perma-wrapped in layers of scarf, I'm looking for exactly the type of music that my body and soul can readily curl up to. I'm revisiting old Americana classics, open road anthems and, most notably, new albums like And The War Came by rising "country" star, Shakey Graves (AKA Alejandro Rose-Garcia), who is finally getting the acclaim he deserves with last week's release.

I peg the Texas native's tunes as country with both assuredness and hesitation, because although the twangy, harmonious Americana might (at first listen) fit the genre bill, similar to artists like The Head and the Heart and Dan Auerbach, this dynamic release packs much more punch (and stomp) than a bumpkin ditty or two. Sure, it's rollicking and tale-telling, but similar to early Kings of Leon, it's Southern rock, it's blues, it's deep soul, and it all begins and ends with Rose-Garcia's beautiful growl.

If you read what I write, you'll notice that I usually have no concept of, or could care less about, whether an album flows thematically. And, I can imagine that this eclectic new release doesn't, which is precisely what I love about it. I mean, isn't the essence of "country" and Americana about veering from the chosen path, rambling, giving way to everything wild and free? In which case, Shakey Graves' sophomore album is one big bundle of Americana consistency - in that, between the distorted guitar, dainty plucking and duels with Esme Patterson's perfect croon - it's all over the damn map.

Listen to this album if you know what's good for you - I can assure you that, in all of its scattered, soulful glory, it's everything you need and more right now. Below are a few goodies, and my favourite track, "Only Son":

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