Zachary Cale :: Blue Rider

0001757812_20There are definitely times when it seems like the last thing the world needs is another singer-songwriter armed with an acoustic guitar. But then a record like Zachary Cale’s Blue Rider shows up and you’re reminded that the well is far from dry when it comes to this breed of music. Over eight diamond sharp tunes, Cale casts a captivating spell. The LP is centered around his elegantly fingerpicked guitar (equal parts Takoma School and Neil Young) and reedy voice, but subtle production touches make for a rich sonic tapestry, with reverb laden vocals, drifting feedback and simple-but-effective percussion adding depth. Fans of Kurt Vile’s mellower side will certainly find plenty to love, though Cale has his own thing going on here, a vibe that doesn’t wallow in its own misery (though he can certainly sing a sad song). Without once resorting to comforting platitudes, Cale’s sings about reconciliation, hopefulness and love. At its heart, Blue Rider is a positive album, of all things. And maybe that’s exactly what the world needs now. words/ t wilcox

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