Bring up a chair and relax with Will Stewart’s third.
You can really chime with the ethos behind Alabama based Stewart’s new album, where he invites us all to take a seat and relax for a while. Boy, do we need to do this with everything that’s going on now. The wonderful cartoon cover art also gets us in the mood and you know you’ll have a smile on your face and chill whilst listening to some memorable tracks.
And that’s what you get here aplenty – a whimsical set of catchy guitar driven folk rock. Lead track ‘Bad Memory’ is a wonderful mid-tempo road song, that suggests we roll down the window and take the scenic route. It gives the listener a Cheshire Cat smile on my face listening to the next song – ‘Nothing’s Right’ – where we hear the travails of our hero whose life is slowly falling apart as “baby’s feeling blue”. With lyrics like “Car won’t start/dog got sick/got two leaks on my roof/got a past due bill from the termite folks/a chip on my front tooth” – how can you not smile?
Next up is a jangly guitar number ‘New World Daydream’, where we’re reminded we must try and avoid becoming corporate zombies. It’s got a great hook and is glorious. Any song that manages to successfully include the word ‘obfuscate’ hits the mark and ‘You’re Not Fun Anymore’ does just that, a twang and organ tune that’s another winner. There’s some classy slide guitar on ‘Can’t Break Through’ and the album rounds of with a lovely cover of The Bats’ ‘Tragedy’.
A great selection of musicians supporting Stewart include Janet Simpson on backing vocals, Daniel Raine on keyboards, Tyler McGuire on drums and Ross Parker on bass. Engineered by Brad Timko, it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome at a modest nine tracks – but this is a really enjoyable album that brings a much needed feeling of warmth and humour to a selection of fine tunes.