Keith Vance’s new release has a curiously split personality. Half of it is country-washed indie folk, while the rest hearkens to the moodier, produced sound of his 2006 release, Stay the Same. Recording everything on the disc himself (except one drum track), the Willoughby musician’s more organic approach this time around is apparent in the strumming swell of “Alive” and follows in songs brimming with acoustic guitar, banjo and accordion. It fits Vance, especially on tracks such as “Torch” and “Guts” that allow him to show off his strong vocal and songwriting abilities. The downside is that some of the more sullen, overtly produced tracks sound flat by comparison. But those moments are few and easily overshadowed by what surrounds them.
Our pick: “Alive”