Within about a minute into The Torch Songs by Dylan Frater you know you are in for a treat. Frater is an established songwriter who doesn't need much more than his voice and guitar to create a song that has a visceral impact on the listener. Although he does have percussive elements on this EP it is often the haunting atmospheres he creates with his guitar and his voice that have the most impact.
One of the most serene and tranquil songs that is covered in nostalgia on the EP is the opener “Cards.” He utilizes warm pads and clean guitar as a canvas to sing over. A little more than halfway through the song he introduces a minimal electronic drum. The song sounded a bit like a Stars of the Lid song if it had vocals. The second song “Living Your Way” sounds closer to a traditional indie rock song. This isn’t a bad thing as it is another well-written song that contains an ample amount of emotion and even a soaring guitar solo.
“City Kids” is a simple song that contains his voice, guitar and some great background harmonies while “Good friends” gives you a sense of triumph. I enjoyed the army-style snare work on “Waiting for the Fall,” which seemed to be about the Great Wall of China. He ends with the second best song on the album called “Stay on the Line” (the best song being “Cards”). There are no delays or much reverb on his acoustic guitar for this song and it gives it a very natural feel. It is a good choice for a closer, which displays his vocals front and center.
There are some minor production issues and every song isn't perfect but these minor imperfections aren't enough for you not to enjoy this album.
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