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Shakey Graves: And the War Came

Album Notes

Shakey Graves is the stage name of Austin, Texas-based singer, songwriter, and musician Alejandro Rose-Garcia, who is probably better known under his real name as an actor, having appeared in several movies and who has had a recurring role in the television series Friday Night Lights. As a musician, however, he's his own species, really, having developed a kind of one-man band "hobo folk" approach to songwriting and performance. His sound is kind of alt-country, but only sort of, and yeah, he's folky, too, but what really makes his songs something different is his innate pop sense. His melodies rise and ebb and crest like waves, gentle and forever flowing forward, and the best of his songs are simply beautiful and haunting. This is his second album, following 2011's Roll the Bones, and it's a lovely, hushed, stark, and yet sturdy set that soothes even as it startles. Songs like "Only Son," "Big Time Nashville Star," and "Call It Heaven" are eerie little folk-pop masterpieces, and Rose-Garcia's voice is a subtle, emotive tool, as is his sparse but effective guitar playing. There probably isn't a radio hit here, because his songs are built around melody rather than box-your-ears rhythms and beats, but they have a melancholic and angelic tone to them that gently takes one's breath away. ~ Steve Leggett


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