The songs off Thomas Fogg’s recent EP This Town are saturated with a rustic, organic quality that is inherent in bands such as Simon and Garfunkel, Iron and Wine, Fleet Foxes and Neutral Milk Hotel to name a few. They are the kind of songs they are drenched in Americana and seem to be natural extensions of simple living. It is something that Henry Thoreau may have written if he knew how to play music and had access to recording technology.
There isn't a dud on this five-song EP where each song feels a bit different but still closely related to the central theme. Fogg has a very attractive voice that shines throughout. He’s never too aggressive or overly manly sounding but instead spews a sincere warm quality to his voice. The instruments he uses throughout – guitars, banjo, harmonium and percussion – are acoustic (except the first song where he uses an electric guitar). All the sounds coalesce thanks to Kevin Berg who was the engineer on the record.
The first song “Bring Out Your Dead” starts with beautiful reverb laced vocal harmonies that you can't help but compare to Fleet Foxes. They quickly fade away and give way to sound that is nothing like the Fleet Foxes. Instead the music sounds like something you might hear in a spaghetti western before the cowboys’ duel mixed with The Animals. There is almost a nonchalant vibe happening that is hard to pinpoint but completely works for the song. “This Town” is quite a departure from the first song as we are introduced to a banjo as well as different singing styles. The song feels like a river on the side of a hill in the country. It is relaxing and has a natural energy to it that makes you feel a little bit more at peace by just being in its presence.
The highlight of the album for me was “Roam.” HIs voice sounded the best here as he sings “Well I guess I'm getting older I can feel it in my bones.” It is a very well written song that felt authentic and had great vocal harmonies. “If You Died” closes the album and hits the perfect amount of optimism without going overboard.
There is a reason Thomas Fogg is rated number #1 in Chico, CA from ReverbNation. Go listen to his music.
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