Album Review: A Townsmen Echo

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A Townsmen Echo move effortlessly between psychedelic ballads and folk-infused rock, taking their time but never getting lazy on their self-titled debut album. 

 

Everyone has their different experiences listening to an album – all the way through – for the first time. Some of us alone in our studios, the shrink wrap crumpled next to us and just dropping the needle. Or, we download and go. While listening to A Townsmen Echo’s self-titled album, I walked from my studio to the office on a sunny day. Clues to their relaxed, sunset-tinged sound are apparent in the album cover, a honey and wine colored filter over a grassy field. The Seattle band opens their self titled debut album with downtempo drums and a minor progression. The natural ease in which the album settles itself into the ethos of young torment while still maintaining a light, listenable feeling kept me listening over and over again.

 The album is atmospheric and pleasant and still reaches into deeper, constructed themes of nostalgia, heartbreak, and an overall longing for simplicity. Michael Julian Escobar’s vocals are center stage in the album, drawn out and melodic, pained and passionate and backed by synth tinged guitars and simple percussion grounding the album. “Wine to Spare” slow dances through a soft plea for love, but if that’s too much, a meal or some wine will do. It’s a melancholic folk-twinged lonesome town ode to the old-soul ballads of heartache.

A Townsmen Echo move effortlessly between psychedelic ballads and folk-infused rock, taking their time but never getting lazy. The opening track “Feel Around You” is lazy in the way that having a mind-consuming crush on someone can make you happily exhausted. It’s melodic, it’s day-dreaming, and one of the strongest tracks on the album. “Silver Gun” is rhythmically intricate and full of swaying, moody guitars. On the track “Don’t Rise,” angelic oohs provide a soulful undercurrent and dimension to the melody. Drifting, hazy, sunset colored – the music never sounds too washed out, too saturated by a clever switch of a synth or a watery, warbling guitar solo. All of it is intentional and structured and never sounds fussy or overworked. It’s a consistently strong theme that carries the album from track to track.

 

 

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