Luca Bash - 'Single Drops'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

Singer songwriter Luca Bash has been active longer than a decade, and as a result, has produced an immense amount of work. Recently, he’s been making his victory lap with the ‘CMYK Project.’ Essentially, the project is four full EP’s that represent all of the songs he’s written since 2003. This career-spanning collection has also brought ‘Single Drops’ into the forefront, a related EP that includes one new single and four archive songs, each representing one of the ‘CMYK’ releases. It’s a smart and creative way to release content. 'Single Drops' is an interesting effort, but does it hold enough water against such a long career?

‘Single Drops’ showcases an acoustic duo between ash and lead guitarist Giova Pes. It’s an easy-listening record full of bright timbre reverb and folksy finger picking. That’s exactly what the new single is, ‘Your Tomorrow.’ Bash has a very distinctive voice. To be entirely honest, I have a lot of difficulty understanding him. I had to spin ‘Your Tomorrow’ a few times to really comprehend the song. It is, however, absolutely stunning and well-performed. Bash’s unique sound gives some texture to the music and the cascading acoustics build a wonderful wall of sound around him.

‘Forever Like Asleep’ has some of the better imagery and songwriting on the album. This bluesy foot-stomper is very enjoyable. Again, Bash’s vocals are difficult to understand. It seems he has a very heavy accent. ‘Dear John’ continues this trend, and no, it isn’t a Taylor Swift cover. (It’s okay, I saw the title and thought it was, too.) The acoustic playing is remarkably good on every track, cumulating in ‘Little Tale.’ That song’s acoustic articulations are fantastic.

‘Black Swan’s Walls’ is a nice contrast to the rest of ‘Single Drops,’ it’s more upbeat, something that’s welcomed after four tracks of solemn acoustic pondering. That brings me to the crux of this review: for an EP that’s supposed to give a taste of twelve years of content, it all sounds like it’s from the same collection. It doesn’t speak much to his journey in this regard because nothing feels overly creative after the first track. When you’re putting together a five song set list of your entire career, you’d want to showcase your range as an artist. All good artists should grow in that amount of time. ‘Single Drops’ fails in that sense.

It’s still a nice little collection of carefree acoustic tunes. It isn’t the highlight reel that Bash may have hoped for, though, and it doesn’t get me excited to seek out any of the four parts of ‘CMYK.’ If there were four drastically different tracks, then there would be a reason to venture into the corner of each EP to discover its origin. Thus, as a nice coffee shop soundtrack, ‘Single Drops’ is distinctive and interesting enough. As a career showcase, it’s far from interesting and lacks color.

Listen to the record: