Sig Monious has been writing songs since 2002. The songs on Songs I Wrote For You In Arcata (SIWFYIA) were written ten years ago and revolve around meeting a romantic interest. It captures a moment in time for a songwriter who hasn't written acoustic songs since then.
The songs are very basic consisting of mostly major or minor chords strummed lightly on guitar which might remind you of what your roommate in college played while you were watching TV and drinking beer. I have to admit the baffling thing to me is why he decided to cover his vocals in so much of this phaser effect so that you can barely hear any of his natural inflection which is where a lot of the emotion usually comes from. It made the lyrics harder to understand and much harder to get an idea of what his natural voice actually sounds like. A dash of reverb, EQ and compression will usually get you there. I would have liked to hear these songs without his vocals so wet with effects.
The songs are often catchy like the opener “Trial and Error.” “Trial and Error” has some of the most memorable melodies. The song would have benefited from a full band and a little more energy. Up next is “City Light” which has more of a Beck vibe. I thought of the album One Foot in the Grave. It’s another catchy song this time dripping with melancholy. He sings, “I don’t want to be a loner / I don’t want to be the one.”
As the album progresses they are a bunch of very simple but well-written songs that could have been brought to their potential with production that fit the style better. “Best Girl’ is undeniable enjoyable while “Promise” and “So Many Questions” are the other highlights.
I would have liked to hear more instrumentation and variation on this album. The dry guitars which mostly consisted of similar strumming patterns was having a hard time supporting eleven songs. If he still has the master files he may want to consider backing off on the vocal effects and re-releasing it as an alternative version. I felt like I was listening to a phaser pedal throughout most of the album.
Overall, I feel like this a batch of well-written sparse songs were enjoyable but if given proper treatment in regards to engineering and production they could have brought to a different level.
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