There is a lo-fi, but not lacking, kind of a resonance to this collection by Joseph Kenneally. I always love to see what musicians take on as solo projects and how they differ somewhat from their band’s musical endeavors. Where The Surviving Kenneally’s have a definite bluegrass edge, Joe’s solo ventures take on a more folky, songwriter feeling. In three short tracks Kenneally is able to navigate across a spectrum of sounds, textures and vibes that fits snuggly into the singer-songwriter realm, but show his range as a musician and songwriter.
The first track ‘Hatchet’ is categorically ‘folky’, but with that indie sound that a lot of the mainstream folk artists are going for these days. The beginning of the song is very solo, songwriter, acoustic and then some additional vocal is introduced to the equation. The harmonies create an almost phasing sound, laid out over acoustic instrumentation. It is very solemn sounding. Gray days and long train rides is this picture that kind of sits in my head..and I love it. Melancholy, somber tinged make you contemplate your lazy Sunday afternoons where you think you should be doing something productive, but you would rather just sit on your couch and watch the leaves blow.
“Piece by Piece” adopts some differing textures to layer on top of the acoustic guitar, which then cuts out and comes back in again. I see this in some indie film or an Apple TV commercial. Kind of has that happy go lucky feel, without being all too happy.
The final track on the cut is simple and beautiful. Listen to the lyrics, enjoy the ride. The songwriter’s voice takes the center stage, its uncomplicated, but pleasant. The right sprinkling of harmony at the right points capitalize on making the most of certain phrasing.
I like the short, concise nature of the EP as well as each of the songs says a lot, without saying too much. Here is the point, here is the story I am trying to tell. It really is a great little collection here that you will listen to over and over again.
Check it out for yourself, and be sure to check all of Joseph Kenneally’s projects. The full band has some new recordings on the horizon.