John Kyle Halvorson is a musician from Fort Collins, Colorado who recently released Just For You. It is a fairly stripped back effort revolving around acoustic guitar and vocals. Halvorson has been singing and playing guitar for around twelve years but just recently started songwriting so this is his first batch of songs.
The album opens with “Somebody's Something.” You are greeted with a couple of acoustic guitars. One is playing lead and the other strumming the rhythm. The vibe is mellow, relaxed and soft. They play their instruments as if they aren’t trying to disturb their roommate from sleeping. The aesthetic also reminded me of being around a bonfire and strumming a guitar.
The first song is indicative of what else you will hear on this album. “Bright Green Dress” is simple enough with more lightly strummed chords and some lead guitar. The main attraction however is the sing-along catchy melody. He sings, “It’s never enough / I go to sleep and I / Keep dreaming of / My favorite kind of love.”
“Down From A Mountain” is the first more reflective and somber sounding song. This song also features additional vocal harmonies. I really enjoyed the guitar work here. He has more success with “Rosetta” which has a tinge of ’50s pop while “All By Myself Again” actually reminded me of one of my favorite artists M. Ward. There are some great vocal harmonies on this song.
As the album progresses I thought there were a number of highlights. The solemn “Sunday” was a bluesy but also catchy song about multiple lovers. I also thought the closer “Just For You” was loose and a nice way the end the album.
These songs are well written and easy to appreciate. I can’t say there were many surprises good or bad but I think this is a solid start for him as he gets more into songwriting. Take a listen.
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