Americana music, when it hits the mark, sounds modern and topical while honouring the country and folk ghosts of the past and James Kenyon has managed to corral his songs into an intriguing amalgam of just that.
Kenyon’s style is comparable to the quieter side of Ryan Adams mixed with a hint of Bon Iver and a dash of The Felice Brothers with their rougher edges polished. He presents it with a lush country and folk-rock production that harnesses strings, horns and a choir to both subtle and striking effect.
There’s a freewheeling and atmospheric feel to the album as textural sounds and samples fade in and out of the mix, guitars gently chug along, riding the melodies of the songs and underpinning Kenyon’s voice which sits in a fairly narrow range but still imbues the right amount of melancholy and emotion as required.
The album title flows through to many of the themes of movement and travel, both literal and tangential, in the songs. Kenyon name-checks headlights, motorbikes, ships, truckies and road movies and indeed it’s a widescreen album, both in sound and subject. Spend time with this album and you’ll be rewarded by its slow musical reveal.