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.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we delve into ‘Soul’d Out,’ the latest release from the roots rocker, DownTown Mystic. The single is set for a November 6 release date, but we’re going to dig into it early here on the Spotlight. The release contains three tunes: the title track, the rocking ‘Brian Jones,’ and the unreleased radio mix of ‘Rise and Fall #2,’ a song from Mystic’s ‘Standing Still’ album. Let’s get right into it!
‘Soul’d Out’ is a song that explores the heartbreak of the end of a relationship, thus traversing some poignant, but familiar ground. “Why should something so good only last for so long?” Mystic croons over an atmospheric landscape of harmonizing vocal pieces and subtle acoustic backing. On the production end of the song, the piece is very firmly rooted. Every piece of the mix resonates with the rest elegantly, creating a beautiful sonic landscape of introspective relationship musings and relatable emotions. The piece embraces a very ‘classic’ feel, as if it could have been grabbed off the cutting room floor of a Tom Petty session or the like.
‘Brian Jones’ is a pseudo-biographical piece about the original frontman and founder of the Rolling Stones. Jones is often pushed on the rug in the history books, but he was a pivotal piece of the British Invasion. While the Beatles were rooted in the pop sensibility of girl groups akin to the Shirelles, the Stones’ influences lied with Chicago blues: Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, and others. As a result, their sound pioneered a British blend of rock and roll heavily inspired by the blues. ‘Brian Jones,’ the song on this release, embraces a level of historical accuracy in that regard. Blues harmonica and references to Stones tunes are littered throughout the whole song. That said, I’d argue the piece sounds more like a David Bowie tune, at least, when comparing it sonically to the era.
‘Brian Jones’ may be the defiant highlight of this release. It’s sharply written, massively fun, and the Stones homage is a hell of a good one. That said, the radio mix of ‘Rise and Fall #2’ is an intensely appealing one. The slide guitar-laden romp through musical prowess and danceable rock and roll is an enjoyable one. It isn’t a terribly different mix than its ‘Standing Still’ counterpart, though. It’s only a second shorter and the mix sounds mostly the same.
‘Soul’d Out’ is an exceptional little release. The tunes are accessible, lyrically layered, and consistently compelling throughout. The two new additions to Mystic’s repertoire are the highlights, with the added radio mix feeling more like a retrospective bonus rather than a drastically different take on an established song. Mystic’s presence and musical persona is an intriguing one, and clearly he’s doing something right; one of the greatest drummers in rock and roll doesn’t choose to work with you if you aren’t. (Max Weinberg of the E Street Band.) Check out Mystic online below and snap up ‘Soul’d Out’ on November 6.
DownTown Homepage: http://downtownmystic.net
DownTown Mystic YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/DowntownMystic1