Rosewood Almanac is the ten-piece release from Will Stratton. The record is a fluidly effortless collection of songs and contains ten delicately constructed pieces of art, that include a combination of beautiful and personal lyrics. A gentle mix of folk and acoustic music paired with breathy vocals. Available on Vinyl LP and CD.
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As stipulated in my birth certificate, my name obliges me to give any record that begins with the sounds of bird chirping at least a 7/10. So there you go; ‘Rosewood Almanac’ is already on to a winner. An endearing and gently rockish folk record lives within the corners of that title, Will Stratton emerging from the friendlier parts of Wilco’s ‘A Ghost Is Born’ and Sun Kil Moon’s electrified picking on ‘Ghosts of the Great Highway’. Great touchstones; great promise within.
“Light Blue” is just a lovely way to start a record, lilting on that amplified country swagger, riffs and trills coming out of the guitar like twine getting broken between the hands, piano shimmering amidst the shade. “Thick Skin” is a wonderfully twilit tune, its piano and strings waltzing with a jazzy melancholy known at the centre of Ryley Walker’s heart. These songs, that tie knots in the pastoral environments being conjured, are my favourite; they sound like they’ve lost the compass to point them back home. “Whatever’s Divine” is another lost stroll, beginning with a solo guitar line before journeying out into the morning sunshine with strings and soft drums -- only to descend into and scramble its way out of a nauseating bridge of broken-down strings.
Some moments are more honed and ballad-bled, such as “Vanishing Class” and the rather saccharine “I See You”. The sparse and simple “Some Ride” has little more than a lovely picking pattern and the occasional change of inflection in Stratton's voice, proving that what you need for a good song is very little. Who knew? I can imagine a folkie or two enjoying this very sweet record.
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- Rosewood Almanac by Will Stratton
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