All is not lost. Summer is fast slipping away, and with it goes the ‘over the top’ ‘blockbuster’ music; that music inspired by ‘bigger is better’ and ‘technology reigns supreme’. That’s not to say I didn’t like the summer offerings, but, fall ushers in a new sound; one in which the excitement becomes human rather than show; much like a fine Pinot Noir, with its understated elegance, as opposed to a Shiraz which beats you over the head, to announce its presence.
One of the first signs of this slight but significant shift comes from the New York City storytelling folk-rock band Tam Lin; who presents one of the braver, more adventurous upcoming folk-rock releases, Medicine for a Ghost. And it won’t disappoint. Due out October 5th, the ten track album, weaves a dizzying array of folk, roots, rock and above all else stories; that span generations, touching upon religious paradigms, internal chaos, and emotional weight and weirdly—ultimately; hope.
Fronted by New York City native Paul Weinfield, Tam Lin, Time Out New York described the album as “mellifluous” and like “listening to Jeff Buckley…” Those are some pretty big words for those who are baptized in the Church of Buckley; a singer/songwriter who is known as an intuitive vocalist with a choir boy charm and ethereal sweetness, coupled with an uncanny ability to transgress beyond expectations.
However, it may not be far off the mark.
Tam Lin gives us 10 tracks highlighting a stylistic range, from melancholy on ‘Flowers of Hell,” to impossibly intimate on ‘Flame within the Sun’ to a country flavored ‘Ship of Light’. It’s all here, wrapped in layers of lyrical message and with. This is Tam Lin’s fifth album, which is evident in his expressive, far-ranging presentation of the material here. One of the most important things to note, to be aware of and to simply bask in is his honesty, when you hear this album. It’s dazzling in its simplicity, reliable in its delivery and candid in its approach.
It seems evident that somewhere between the collapse of the record industry and the rise of downloads and private listening, there is a lot out there to choose from. This immediate access has fragmented the way we listen to music. It is both liberating and confining. However, when you come across an artist, who has something of value to say and can say it in inspiring and engaging ways, it seems we may have just stumbled upon destined for a certain kind of distinction; storytelling at its finest.