This socially distanced time in our living history has been challenging for all of us, with many not knowing how to manage all of the free time suddenly on our hands. Many artists and bands have taken this break from live performances and their other side-hustles and used the space to really dig deep into their creative wells. A few months into the pandemic and we are beginning to see the first wave of artists releasing their “quarantunes”. The latest EP from Indie Soull Colorado is just one of these pandemic releases.
Colorado is an 8-song gem that plays like a folk-pop diary, boasting simple and straightforward production that leaves space for the acoustic guitar and the songwriting to really shine… and shine it does. The best songs in music can be stripped of fancy production and still land when reduced to the most basic of musical elements -- Patty Griffin’s Living with Ghosts comes to mind – and several tracks on Colorado showcase songwriting chops that put Indie Soull shoulder to shoulder with the best in his genre.
The songs feel instantly familiar, like a group of old friends gathering around a backyard fire with lightning bugs and good vibes. Fresh folk pop energy with a deliberate nod toward Americana and pipes that call to mind a younger, more urgent Cat Stevens elevate the 8 tracks on Colorado above the singer-songwriter din.
In the opening track, If God Is Watching, Soull wonders if God weeps at the current state of our country. Dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, the track takes those tears and turns them into hope, dreaming of the time when “something new arrives”.
Colorado, the title track, takes a lighter turn, waxing poetic about the natural magic of the Centennial state where Indie Soull spent his childhood. In the tune, he is returning home but lamenting how time has passed and how home will never again be home of our youth. A solid, standout song.
Spinning introduces some piano to the production mix and it’s the perfect dash of flavor on this guitar forward record. This is perhaps my favorite tune, with Indie Soull pulling back the intensity of the vocal delivery a bit, holding back just enough to offer some whispery contrast to the vocal delivery on the other tracks.
The EP rounds out a wild and freewheeling live version the tune Wagon Train recorded at Paddy Reilly’s in Indie Soull’s current stomping grounds of NYC. Here the vocal urgency is elevated to fill the room – he fights with noise from the crowd and wins, soaring to new emotional spaces only hinted at in earlier songs on the record. You can hear a lot of promise in this tune, perhaps a taste of what’s to come when Indie Soull inevitably adds more production elements to the mix. But for now, grab some friends, gather around the fire and enjoy.