BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Two albums on, Chadwick Stokes is making a formidable impression, although the search for an apt description can sometime prove quite elusive. With songs that literally seem to go from a whisper to a roar, the results often seem to inhabit a kind of netherworld where it’s never certain where they’ll end up next. Regardless, there’s an unmistakable energy and enthusiasm at play here, and no matter where the tunes originate, they ultimately make an emphatic impression once they arrive.
Case in point: Songs such as “Pine Needle Tea,” “Horse Comanche” and “Dead Badger” — yes, Stokes does seem to have a knack for bewildering song titles — begin in hushed circumstance, only to build towards a raucous conclusion. They lend the proceedings a singular sound that lends The Horse Comanche a formidable final impression.
Ultimately however, the most engaging tracks are those that find Stokes on a steady glide, as per the low-key shuffle of “Mother Maple” and the buoyant reggae infused vibe of “Prison Blue Eyes” and “Our Lives Our Time.” Stokes’ success is no accident; the production prowess of Sam Beam and Noah Georgeson lend a confidence and assurance that allows The Horse Comanche to effectively find its stride.
DOWNLOAD: “Horse Comanche,” “Mother Maple,” “Prison Blue Eyes”