Singer-songwriter Mick Posch delivers a collection of songs that dabble in straightforward folk, ‘60s jazz and light psychedelic rock on his debut release Far Be It.
The New Jersey musician does something a little different with each song on the album—a folk song here, a jazzy instrumental number there—rather than totally amalgamating all of the influences. The album opener “Ontario” is about as straightforward of a folk as you can get: A bright, picked out-then-strummed guitar riff, crystal clear talk-sung vocals and a lovely violin accompaniment. “Captain Radon” gets a little bit more out there, with some phaser sounds accentuating the spaceman theme, while “To Do” builds into a more orchestrated endeavor by involving a piano and some drums.
Far Be It really takes off on the number emphasizing the ‘60s jazz. “Don't Eat the Rye Bread, Marius,” an instrumental song, jams out, up and down some scales with a handful of instruments: synthesizer, organ, wood blocks, piano and a slew of other virtual instruments, while aggressive (by this album's standards) percussion guides the track forward. That song sets a tone of departure from the crisp LL Bean approach of the album's opener. “Tin Can Violin” involves a nearly syncopated key part and a jazzy hi-hat one-two that suggests the velour cool of a minimalist Burt Bacharach. The piano stands at the forefront of the mix—the vocals still totally intelligible, but with that back-of-the-room reverb.
The album's closer and standout track “Bonfire Song” capitalizes on the production of the jazzier numbers with a dense mesh of instruments lying the groundwork for vocals, a soloing guitar or an organ to rise to the surface. The song has a droning, chic sound evoking a reverence for ‘60s styles. Vocals intermingle with counterpoint lines; bongos keep the song tumbling forward while a lightly distorted guitar crashes every so often.
Posch has incorporated a surprising amount of variety. All of the songs at their base are just acoustic numbers that Posch continued to develop. While that's a fairly standard practice, it's cool to see all of the different directions each song goes in—and all of the different instruments and effects used to create such a layered and nuanced album in a mere six, short tracks.
The production value is also great on the homemade album. Whatever Posch was lacking from a professional studio, he made up for with time, experimentation and passion. While he did conscript a bit of help from his niece and brother, the whole thing was essentially a one-man project from inception to production.
Ultimately, it's a fun little album that goes in a few different directions without losing its focus or voice.
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