If I said Freewood‘s album was free, would you hold it against him?  

I know there’s tons of free (terrible) crap on the internet, and most of it comes through bandcamp, but trust me, this is different.  Freewood is really one dude from Los Angeles (0kay, I know I’m asking a lot, but don’t hold that against it, either) playing a guitar and singing.  It’s intended to be raw–he insisted on less than 10 takes for each cut and singing and playing the main tracks simultaneously before going back to overdubs, etc.  So, it’s intended to be genuine.  And it is.

Titles like “Maggie May” (not a cover), “Layne Staley,” and “Satellites” give a fairly good impression of the influences: Classic and modern dark rock.  But “Talanzias” is mostly acoustic–or at least it feels like it’s mostly acoustic–and is far more than the sum of its influences. I haven’t enjoyed listening to an album this much in a while–in the sense that you can never tell what’s coming from track to track.  In that regard, it reminded me a little of Beck’s first album or Weinland’s “Breaks in the Sun.”  It feels a little sad, a little down, but it’s not.  It feels a little offbeat, and it is.  I can’t say it’s genius or life-changing, because it’s very hard, at the end, to get a sense of cohesion or character here; this is very much a work of experimentation–not experimental music, experiments in style by a man who is clearly quite talented and is trying to find his way.  Lots of folks may find that offputting, but being a person who enjoys art for artists’ sake, I really, really enjoyed it.  It’s a keeper.

Get the whole thing for free here or here.

Or taste a few of my favorite tracks below:

Healing Hands

This Is How I Feel Today

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