The Jolly Walker is a solo project from Toronto who recently released Home. The man behind the project prefers to go by The Jolly Walker instead of his name because he says he would rather people focus on what is being said rather than who's doing it.
Home is a DIY effort that combines aspects of folk, blues, rock and a few other sub genres. The album has a good amount of variety but doesn’t get too off the rails. It feels fairly cohesive with an ebb and flow that makes the ten songs easy to appreciate.
He opens with “Blue” and it was perhaps the only song that I felt didn’t work as well sequentially. It felt more like a closer because there is a contemplative, melancholy vibe to it. The energy is subdued until the big sounding drums come in.
The very next song “The Alchemist” felt more like an opener to me. There is a kinetic, upbeat energy to the song that is not too far off from Mumford & Sons or even Fleet Foxes. The vocals are enthusiastic and emotive with a great drum beat that makes the song roll.
The first two songs have a folk vibe while the third track “Tell a Story” veers more towards blues. His vocals sounds great on this track along with some noteworthy harmonica. I thought “Going On” was a highlight. It was a southern Mississippi feel to it with excellent string work and percussive elements. He also kills it in the vocal department. He sings, “We'll meet again tomorrow / We'll fight together this sorrow / We are something else / Together we're like no one else / We've got this going on.”
“Odd” is the first song that rocked out pretty hard while “Natural Born Killers” is a stripped back acoustic song revolving around the vocals. The title track has some beautiful guitar work with sparse percussion that is all the song needed. The last two songs are also very well done.
I would say that every song had something a little different to offer on this album. The songwriting and delivery is exceptional throughout. Although I would have liked to have come away with a more unified sound that defined The Jolly Walker signature style I can easily give this album two thumbs up. Recommended.
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