The New Sound Of Seattle is Easy on the Era.
Twenty years ago, Son #1 had a period in his life when he wore unwashed jeans, tattered Converse and over-sized check shirts; and the least said about his hair the better; constantly listening to Seattle bands like Pearl Jam, Mud Honey, Alice in Jeans and The Soundgardens on heavy rotation in his darkened bedroom.
Thankfully he eventually discovered girls preferred boys who showered and the rest is history.
Why is that relevant? Well; Ian McFeron is the ‘New Sound of Seattle.’ Well; in my opinion anyway.
I first discovered the young singer in 2011 when I reviewed Summer Nights, giving it 5 Stars in a publication that I wrote for.
Somehow I missed the follow up album in 2013; but I’ve spent a silly few days listening to his 10th album, RADIO on heavy rotation like that delusional teenager.
I was instantly hooked as soon as I heard Gotta Have Faith; which opens the album. McFeron’s charismatic voice could easily become my ‘Sound of the Summer;’ and the message in the song is probably just what I need at the moment too.
This isn’t no ‘happy-clappy’ album by any means; Song To The Night is everything you would expect of a title like that; and Russ Pahl’s pedal-steel in the background sounds more like heart strings being plucked than a musical instrument.
Diesel Grease which follows; is a sweet Country song of the left side of Alt. variety. Bittersweet and just perfect for listening to as the sun goes down over the yard arm.
I actually had to fast forward to Moses; when I saw the title on the album sleeve. Thankfully it’s not the Religious song I feared; more a metaphor in the way Dylan or Townes Van Zandt would use; and after repeated plays is certainly one of the strongest songs here and well worthy of radio play.
Then we have the delightful; Feelin’ Good. Another song that must have been written as the sun was going down and the beers were coming out – and McFeron sounds like he was ruefully smiling all of the way through.
We must whiz back to the third track for the very best song on the album. Now, the other 9 songs are all very, very good but the title track ‘Radio’ is a scintillating piece of Americana wrapped up in just under four minutes.
Written from the perspective of ‘sitting in the afterglow/listening to the radio/songs by Otis Redding and Neil Young.’ Wow! McFeron’s band are as sweet as a hazelnut as the singer definitely sounds as if the words came to him seconds after bumping tummy’s with the love of his life.
I gave Summer Nights 5 stars four years ago and Radio merits exactly the same reward.
Great artwork on the cover too!
Released January 19th 2016