The latest six-song collection by Long Beach singer-songwriter Thom Van glistens with a soothing combination of beauty and angst. This collection subtly displays a palette of influences from Built to Spill, The Shins, and the classic strumming of Tom Petty, making for a solid outing that you will not forget. While indie and folk rock may be suitable descriptions, this particular affair defies categorization. Present is a noticeable musical emphasis on solid compositions instead of the confines of any specific genre. Van’s vocal delivery is detailed and distinctive with its perfect pitch and tone. An upper dynamic range reminiscent of Freddie Mercury, will grab you with its sincere intensity. A finely tuned backing band that knows when to hold back and when to make the songs roar accentuates the necessary atmospheric nuances of these compelling soundscapes.
The tracks Slow Down and The Old Pain firmly display the indie rock bombast of Thom Van with slow burning chord combinations that lead into emotionally laden, anthemic choruses. Avoid the Fall highlights the pop/rock sensibility of this artist on the rise with its luscious harmonies and firmly planted hooks that demand radio airplay. A nice blend of Simon & Garfunkel meets Band of Horses solidifies this tune as a future soundtrack staple. So in Love is a welcome ballad with its flowing symphonic structure that eases the listener into a calm and introspective trance. The guitar playing overall has a bluesy and melodic approach that makes this release really stand out. An unparalleled sophistication buzzes throughout this sonic journey. Definitely make sure to catch Thom live, as these recordings require an intimate experience to enhance the instantly mesmerizing Volume I.[adrotate banner=”4″]