Lapland and Ed Woltil

Lapland “Lapland”
Lapland is a new project by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Josh Mease. From the opening strums of “Unwise” you feel the full otherworldly texture and mood wash over you. It gets into standard folk pop fare with “Overboard,” but the melodic gift is evidently strong with Josh, as the chords and layered harmonies evoke both McCartney and Paul Simon. Each song structure is tightly woven but slowly paced,”Aeroplane” drifts along like a Nilsson ballad amongst the clouds.

If you like subtle pocket melodies, then this album is for you. “Drink Me Dry” is another casual gem, and then it gets very deep on “Memory.” When Josh veers toward the atmospheric it may set you to sleep, but if you liked 8×8 or Dent May then you’ll just drink it in. The faux western “Metal Lungs” is another highlight. The production is clean and aside from an instrumental or two you’ll just have to listen to it a few times to have it sink in. A real grower.

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Ed Woltil “Paper Boats”
Acclaimed singer-songwriter from The Ditchflowers steps out with his melodically rich, lyrically nuanced solo debut. The album is built around Woltil’s considerable acoustic guitar skills and warm vocal, as he builds neatly efficient songs. “Algebra” is a fresh, snappy melody along the lines of Joe Walsh or Donald Fagen. The easy going “Random Access Memory” has a wandering verse and hook along the lines of Mike Viola, a pure joy to listen to. “Someone Else’s Life” creates a melody with a wry touch of self-awareness, similar to Randy Newman. “The One and Only Anderson” is a cute, funny portrait of his dog, Andy.

He takes a few more liberties on the LP’s second half. “Open” is a mix of classical influences, and “The Shortest Distance (Between Two Hearts)” is soul-pop ballad. And the skillful lyrical gymnastics on “One in A Row” brings to mind Paul Simon at his most playful. Overall its a fully realized display of superb songwriting and musicianship. Highly Recommended.

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