The music of Jack Name has always been filled with little hints of mystery. Always pushing ahead, his sound falls far beyond many singer songwriters as he seems to push himself to create beyond most artists. With his new album Magic Touch he extends his universe. Creating hefty and textured notes through hearty arrangements, the songs within are a graceful yet beautiful reminder of his prowess as an artist.
The opening song “Karolina” offers up this hazy daydream of a track that whispers the vocals underneath a reverberated guitar tone and light drums. The near psych touches make the song stand out while the upbeat stride keep it in your head. “AMoving-on-Blues” has this whimsical dance between the bass and a meandering guitar. While the vocals are close to a talk sing in terms of sound, it’s just really hushed singing that works and works well. Where the album really shimmers is when the song feels like a tale that Leonard Cohen would have penned. “Kick-around Johnny” is one such song. Just vocals and guitar, the way Name’s vocals feel like he’s right in your ear creates an intimacy not found on most modern albums.
While “Sacred Place” is this layered myriad of melodic notes, the way the song is arranged is where the true sorcery resides. The vocals sit between the guitar and keys and fabricate a balance between the instruments and the words. On “Having a Good Time” Name takes the Californian sun and finds a way to incorporate a sound for how it feels. With “Losing My Way” he dances between seventies a.m. gold and adult contemporary without really falling into the crevices of either. But of the diversely created album, the true favorite is with “I Came to Tell You in Plain English.” The Western twang of the guitar against a jangled tone holds up the simple drums and the curdled notes of the voice. Vocally Jack Name is in the pocket here, falling somewhere between Lou Reed and Cate LeBon to create something you can enjoy well past the first couple of listens.
Magic Touch is available to purchase directly from Mexican Summer. It can also be streamed on all platforms or purchased in all digital outlets.
Image Credits: Photo by Logan White.