Kevin Holowach, an artist from Edmonton, Canada, was writing songs and playing bass and mandolin for years before independently writing, recording and producing music independently.
His release There is a Spirit is a twenty-song album that mostly revolves around his guitar and vocals with some subtle percussion. This is a folk album with some experimental tendencies. It never goes too far into unconventional ideas but I liked that fact that Holowach was thinking outside of the box.
Since there are twenty songs on this album it was one that I had to revisit a number of times to get through. Amongst the twenty songs I found there were some gems which were worth the effort.
Take for instance the opener “San Francisco” which is a fairly straightforward folk song that veers towards Dylan and ’60s bohemian folk. The song revolves around the lyrics which also embrace the classic bohemian folk trope of leaving a city for a new one. He sings, “So maybe I'll give up this town / Maybe you should give up this town, too / We’ll make for one of those places that's mentioned on the radio / Ireland or Mexico, Montreal or San Francisco.”
Some experimental tendencies come out on “A Confession.” He implements some percussion and loads it up with reverb. I would argue some tweaking on the reverb could have helped out the aesthetics but it still works. The guitar picking is notable on this song.
Holowach sounds great when he stays within his natural vocal range but occasionally gets into trouble with a song like “A Poet Of Mine.” The song “Nick Drake” was a highlight amongst the batch and as the album progresses there are quite a bit more. “Lionel and Jane” has some great guitar picking while “Autobiography” is a fleshed-out song with a full arrangement of sounds.
Overall, the songwriting is consistently good with a couple of tracks that really stood out. There is a Spirit is a strong folk album with a number of inspired moments.
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