Hailing from Athens, Ohio Jason Trout is singer/songwriter who recently released his Debut EP entitled Off The Field Issues. The EP is lo-fi effort that works because of the sparse instrumentation and well written songs (although the low end was often lacking and the white noise from the preamp was a bit too prominent). Trout has a pleasant voice sometimes sounding like a distant relative to Cat Stevens. He also is a inventive lyricist who sometimes creates narratives (Whole Nother Life) as well poetic passages (Love Is Not The Reason) that have a ring of truth to them.
Although the songs revolve around acoustic guitar and his voice he implements didn't styles. For instance,I felt a tinge of punk rock, folk and even country.
The first song “A Whole Nother Life” is arguably the highlight of the album. It’s an upbeat ditty that feels alive with energy and works for a number of reason. The distant sounding vocal harmonies sound good when combined with the lead vocal. A lone tambourine keeps the festive vibe going as Trout sings about moving on from past relationships.
“A Beginning To Another End” is a slower, melancholy song sounding similar to a riff Conor Oberst may have come up with. I like Trout better without the melancholy but he manages to deliver a good vocal performance which is the best part of the tune. He voice sounds tired as if his eyes have seen it much. The song ends with a bit a revival as the energy increases and his vocals shimmer with vibrance.
“Love is Not Reason” is a catchy song that reminded me of something I would hear from The Magnetic Fields while” “Only When I'm Blue” contains a healthy dose of harmonica. “Why Don't I Listen To Radiohead Anymore?” made me laugh when I read the title. The lyrics are funny (and a bit sad) as he sings about why he doesn't listen to Radiohead anymore and can’t even enjoy movies. It actually seems to be about him having some sort of existential dilemma .
I would have enjoyed a bit more consistency with this EP in terms of songs and production. The production sounded different on almost every track which affected the fluidity and cohesiveness of the EP. Other than that the EP builds a solid foundation for his album which is due sometime later this year.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook