Mike Barnett and Wesley Wolfe

Mike Barnett “Everybody Gets to Dream”
Mike Barnett returns with a much stronger display of melodic prowess and Dylanesque lyrical skill. With some help from Salim Nourallah, and team of guest players, Barnett crafts a sweet non-glossy LP that reminded me of a low-fi Traveling Wilburys at times. “Who Loves You Blue” sets the stage with his soft delivery and Harrison-like slide guitar.

“I Could Fall” is the secret to his longevity, with some wonderful guitar work in the break – Mike will just “keep keeping on till who knows when.” And he gets positively Beatle-y on “It Must Be Love” with its slow tempo sparse arrangement. He quickens the tempo on “Heidi Surprise” and one of the best tunes here is the inspirational “Everybody Gets To Dream.” Another gem here is the Jeff Lynne like “Push Me Away.” It would’ve been nice to slip in more harmonies, but despite that its a solid effort that encourages repeat listens.

CD Baby | Amazon

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Wesley Wolfe “Numbskull”
North Carolina’s Wesley Wolfe is an artist you want to keep your eye on. The self-styled musical auteur combines a dazzling array of influences, from GBV, Beach Boys, Peter Gabriel and Weezer. The opener “Lost In My Daydreams” utilizes a strong percussive effect as well as a catchy chorus. And it gets even more impressive on the quick tempo of “Fragment of A Dream.”

And its more than the layered textures here, Wolfe has a mastery of indie pop melody, and like Robert Pollard he tosses off gems with ease, like “Read My Mind” and even the slower title track stays on course. The albums theme is about dealing with life’s big worries and coming to terms with it. “Jesus Eyes” is delicate mid-tempo ballad to a girl “innocent and beautiful to me.” No filler here, as this is one of the better indie rock albums I’ve heard so I’ll be checking out his prior work. Highly Recommended!

Amazon | Bandcamp