Rugged + Poetic. - Listen to Questions by Jacob McCoy

It is the sound of movement, of migration, of difficult choices, and easy ones; the sound of love, and after-the-fact analysis, painted with the brush of poetry and steel-string guitar.

Rugged + Poetic. - Listen to Questions by Jacob McCoy

This post was originally published in October 2018.

Starting out with a long slow burn, and channeling the type of deep language I am used to hearing from Josh Ritter - that truly American language of dusty roads, and wide open spaces, and hazy memory - Jacob McCoy stacks them deep, and stays true to a countrified Americana that feels big, heartfelt, and vital:

“What did you carry
inside your coat?
Was it love or was it drugs
Or was it both”— Jacob McCoy

Questions, the new full-length recording from Jacob McCoy, is available now.

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Jacob McCoy comes to us from Tulsa, OK, where he ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund his latest creation. We can thank the good people of the internet for coming together to support this Nashville transplant. He certainly brings a Music City attitude to his new Tulsan identity: a little bit slick, and a little bit serious, peppered with a steely wisdom-of-the-plains. Questions, the lead track, sets a loquacious tone for the entire listen, and you come quickly up to speed on the poetic mastery of McCoy’s lyrics.

Make You Mine, the next track, is a simple acoustic back and forth, but the roots band elements add a southern rock sensibility to the list of influences, and it brings the conversation into pop territory with some really strong harmonies. Freight Train feels like an instant hoedown classic; it has that requisite stomp, the lovers’ conversation, and the handclaps. By the time you get to track 4 - All I Need: the energy is picking up, the shoes are off, and all of a sudden we are slowing down. It’s a lesson we will learn over the course of the recording: we didn’t know what we were missing; and most of us don’t know what we want. The voice and lyricism here will remind you how easy it is to be free - you just have to let go of your expectations.

Maybe that’s what we are doing here: riding with our ears in a boat on the river of McCoy’s life, listening to his heart making sense of it all. It is the sound of movement, of migration, of difficult choices, and easy ones; the sound of love, and after-the-fact analysis, painted with the brush of poetry and steel-string guitar.

“I’m learning your patience
I’m learning your grace
I’ll keep moving towards you now
as long as it takes”— Jacob McCoy

Track 5 - Iona (Forevermore) emerges as the first full chamber-pop opus, the majestic high-drama and binary dynamics creating an emotional ebb and flow that really delivers on a message of true love. It encapsulates the risk and reward of a relationship in its folds, in the direct language from heart to page, and in the beautiful vulnerability of deep commitment. Iona (Forevermore) is as self-affirming an ode as love has ever had.

From the next track Cat and Mouse, we get yet another facet of this roots songwriter: the mid-tempo indie rock what-if - more piano-heavy, with B3 and a busier bass line, and a little bit of falsetto for the hook. Don’t Blame Me brings us back to Tulsa, with a straight country-rock feel, and sets us up for an introspective return to chamber pop from Jess. Here, McCoy finally gives away his lovers’ temperament, and lays himself bare:

“Jess, wherever you are in this world
hope you know you’re still my girl
my love, always will be
Jess, how did you know when I left
that you’d never see me again
my love, you knew best”— Jacob McCoy

And that’s where McCoy leaves us: in the nuzzle of old regret, wondering out loud to the world. The next track Got A Hold On Me retreats into the generality of a nameless woman; and Rear View Mirror is, as it sounds, a personal retrospective. Even a few songs later, the double-punch of Iona and Jess will leave you remembering McCoy’s loves, as if they were your own. And that is the closest thing to love that a memory can give you.

McCoy’s track Cat and Mouse is featured on our Roots Collection playlist.

Submit for your own CHILLFILTR album spotlight here.

Author

Krister Axel

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, + 5 albums later, Krister is ready to write about his favorite thing: music. Spotify username: AIO

Ashland, Oregon http://axel.me Krister Axel Krister Axel

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