It was the name of this album that caught my attention, seeing as our acreage is currently over run by coyotes, so I figured it was a strange coincidence and I should give it a spin. The story behind the Coyote Sessions is somewhat interesting. Glen Phillips decided to compile all the songs that he's only played live or collaborated with other artists but never got around to recording. This was done at Coyote Road Studios with a single stereo microphone in front of Phillips and the other instruments placed at a distance away from him in one large room. There was no mixing or over dubs, just raw tracks laid down in an extremely simplistic manner, very similar to the earliest recordings of live bands. For this, I really got behind the record.
Not knowing any other material by Glen Phillips, I was unsure if Coyote Sessions was the best place to jump into his catalogue but about half way through that became irrelevant. I was taken by his delicious pop melodies and smooth vocals. The sound of this record is also an unusual selling point. The room they recorded in gives all the elements a very curious sound, but also offers a binding effect. Pulling everything together, like a large family sitting around a small dining room table. The guitars and piano, drums and slide guitar all blend in together well but you can still pick out their subtle differences. For not having been mixed, this is a very impressive feat. Instruments often become muddy, but not in this room.
Stylistically, Phillips really fits the bill as an American singer songwriter. Some songs run close to country, others stay true to folk and blues, a handful come close to experimental. A very nice spread of influence like this keeps the album interesting from start to finish. He is also a fantastic lyricist and story teller.
Coyote Sessions is a fun and interesting listen, both sonically and musically. Find this record and Glen's other works at glenphillips.bandcamp.com
It's incredible how many artists have been thrust into the spot light via YouTube. The only one that currently comes to my mind is Mr. Bieber, and now I can add Roveena to my pathetically short list. Personally, I have a very conflicted attitude on this method of discovery and fame, but in the case of Ms. Roveena, her talent outweighs my bias, grassroots, hipster views.
Her short five song debut EP, Perfect World, is masterfully crafted, and encompasses all that is righteous within the pop music world. In her press kit, Roveena explains that, for her, songwriting is still in its infancy. She co-wrote only one track on this record, and I guess I can be okay with that. But from what I gathered from her thorough press kit, every aspect of this release was meticulously planned, and there's actually no reason why this shouldn't be hitting the top 40 charts. From the world class songwriters, to world class musicians, studios, and producers, Perfect World is perfect adult pop.
Perfect World carries exotic musical flair, donning Spanish guitars, sitars, and South Asian percussionists. This sets it apart from the majority of pop music churned out by record companies these days. The album holds up a certain standard and is unapologetic in its strength.
Lastly, the voice. Roveena's is on that we've heard many times over. That powerful sound that we, as a society, seem to champion, yet never tire of. The kind of voice that will always sell records and consistently top charts. She seems capable of hitting a magnitude of ranges and styles, proving versatility that will last decades.
Now, if I were a pop music fanatic, I would claim that this first release is far too short. But as an introduction, five songs seems the perfect length for Roveena to dip her feet into the competitive and endless ocean that is top 40 music.