Monday, December 29, 2008

Reviews:: Corey Isenor Young Squire


For some reason, I'm still focused on trying to get through the quality releases we missed this year. I know most of the blog world is already done with '08 and salivating over the leak of the new Animal Collective, but for some reason we aren't ready to throw '08 out with the bathwater.

Obviously, when you have a two man shop (and both have full time jobs), that list is going to be pretty long and the large scale oversights become obvious, but we are more concerned with the DIY styled releases we failed to unearth. If we were worth our salt, we really would have talked about Sackville, New Brunswick resident Corey Isenor before now.

Corey’s new full length – Young Squire – is a terrific combination of classic sounding folk music with bursts of indie rock and folk-tronica. He uses subtle bleeps and blips and instrumentation to add a pulse underneath his acoustic (Go Tie Your Shoes), but they never dominate the chords he plays or stories he tells. He’s a charismatic performer and as tracks like Carolina show, he could command a bar room full of drunken discussions with a few simple picked notes, a banjo, mandolin or a harmonica solo.

Even though Isenor isn't a household name, for any fan that takes the time to listen the rewards are there. The warmth that emits from When You Fall (a song that replaces the thumping percussion and female backing vocals we all love from the RAA, with a harmonica and transient attitude), is surprising. He's able to throw in a playful, Old Man Luedecke style banjo line to complete In Your Arms Tonight and Oh No! and you quickly understand that even with his singer/songwriter style Corey's more than just a guy and his guitar.

And that's probably why some of the most enjoyable songs on Young Squire show Isenor using bigger and bolder sounds. Why Do You Believe in Love? is bulked up by a mandolin and kick drum and the attack and retreat style the band uses helps the 6-minute epic fly by in the blink of an eye. Chores in the Summertime is reminiscent of the melodic, nasally indie tracks we grew up on and the echoing oohs that float on the chorus of the straight-ahead folk rocker Are You Ready? offers another wrinkle for the listener.

For a debut full length, Isenor is able to give a listener a collection of songs that fits almost any mood. He offers a few sing-a-longs to keep the bar dancing but is just as comfortable writing a song that speaks to the down and out. He's another unsigned artist that is making terrific music for small crowds. Basically, Corey Isenor is the type of act bloggers should be on the hunt for and trying to support.

Posted at 3:30 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Tristan did sayeth:

You forgot to mention that's he's a dreamboat.


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