Tracy Walton's album Moderately Unknown is packed with emotions of nostalgia and an overall feeling of reminiscing. It is one of those albums that you can listen to and it helps you look at the bigger picture of life as a beautiful mess.
The first song “Someday” exemplifies the humanness that we all experience. "Someday we feel like we all drift to sea...Someday we bow our heads and face our fate gracefully. We find good and bad, you’re beautiful and you’re sad." This song truly exemplifies the beauty and the pain that life contains. Sweet, melodic guitar with a fancy-free dancing drum accompaniment, backed up by a chorus of gorgeous angelic voices - the song really hits home.
Next up is “Jump into The Fire.” This song further epitomizes the goofiness and inevitably flaw-filled experience of living life. Walton's voice is crisp, clear and his words are delivered succinctly. The lyrics are of the utmost importance on this album. The blend of acoustic and electric bass gives it a fresh sentiment. Nowadays in the digital age, an electronic edge feels right. I appreciate the warm, cozy comforting acoustic rhythms though and we couldn't do without them without losing a piece of essential folk music. There is a modest offering of accordion here, just weaving into the song enough to give it a bit of a gypsy folk vibe.
The next song " Many Worlds Collide" is a love filled one. Infusing sweet, slow fiddling evoking deep emotion. Sprigs of mandolin plucking with a rustic, deep soulful voice provide a gorgeous fireside track that is deep and powerful. The album really picks up with the song "Summertime" giving it a more dance-y up-beat swing/jazz/folk fusion. The tempo picks up considerably and is a back and forth conversation between Walton and the jovial fingered piano player. I imagine this song being a side street New Orleans number, even though he is from New England. Either way there is something new about it and it is quite refreshing. Walton's smooth, buttery voice makes a listener's ears akin to being two pieces of freshly toasted bread ready to get slathered by his warm, melt-y vocal remedies. Something about his voice feels like it heals wounds. The variety of instrumentals beg us to wrap our head around what genre of music we are listening to here, but it never fails to continually weave in and out of folk, rock, bluegrass and soul.
The album seems to break genre boundaries but remains a consistent sound that is tight and well put together. Moving along the album to "Come With Me" one even gets a twist of a country sound in this one. Each track never ceases to be a pleasant surprise with a new edge that keeps audiences captivated.
Moderately Unknown is a great modern day offering for all of us that crave that home-style feeling music can bring. The world is a crazy place filled with more media and technological advances than we even know how to begin what to do with and it is always reassuring when an album like this comes into our lives and reminds us that there is still that down home feeling that can bring us back. I love Walton's voice and urge all to take a listen. The marshmallow, candied chorus backup vocals mixed with his woody, oak voice is a combination that can soothe the most rough edged listeners. I highly suggest it for a fireside listen or get-togethers with old friends. It is an eclectic album with emotions of sadness, hope and joy. Makes me want to build a tree house, pick up an old record player and host a small gathering up there in the branches and get away from it all.
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