Release the Sunbird
Come Back to Us
Aug 11, 2011 Web Exclusive
Come Back to Us, the debut full-length from Zach Rogue's (Rogue Wave) new project, Release the Sunbird, is a warm album of gentle, deceptively simple tracks that subtly recall the best of the '90s acoustic rock revolution. It's a smart departure from the danceable electro of Rogue Wave's 2010 release, Permalight, that sonically resets this artist's work in a more straightforward environment, allowing listeners to hear exactly how far Rogue has come as a songwriter.
And he's come pretty far. This may be Rogue's strongest and most unified collection of recordings to date. There's a kind of bittersweet, glowing introspection here that was only hinted at on his previous releases. Simply put, these songs are sad and beautiful. They deftly place such weighty themes as aging, regret, and loneliness into small palatable reverb-soaked packages. Structurally, phrases butt up against each other through minimal instrumentation with a decidedly Californian melancholy that creates the feeling of leaving a friend's barbeque, a little buzzed, at sundown. Ironically, this album was made in Bloomington, IN and maybe it was that perspective that allowed for some of its success.
One of the great surprises of Come Back to Us are the stunning, effervescent harmonies of Kate Long. Her voice provides near perfect accompaniment for Rogue. Here's hoping they continue to collaborate on future releases.
Check out "Always Like the Sun," "Why Can't You Look At Yourself," the Neil Young meets Jim James solitude of "A New You," and "Best Thing for Me." It's the perfect choice for a fan of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Andrew Kenny's (The American Analog Set) 2004 acoustic recordings for Post-Parlo's Home series or anyone looking for a soundtrack for a long drive home after a relaxing summer day. (www.brushfirerecords.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 6/10