BY JOHN B. MOORE
Its clear Nashville musician James Wallace has a jones for Paul Simon and Daniel Johnston, but the influences start to get a little harder to pin down after those two. Yes, there’s a strong, and appealing, folk vibe that flows throughout, but Wallace and his band also toss in snatches of gospel, pop and indie rock to their eclectic mix.
More Strange News From Another Star is not instantly accessible. While there are some songs that grab you right away (like “Colored Lights” and “Worse Things Have Happened”) others have a feel of being a little too earnest and a tad contrived. But with repeated listens the record ultimately pays off. Wallace’s falsetto actually becomes endearing after you get used to it and you begin to appreciate the mix of clarinet and brass.
The album was originally planned as a monthly cassette release by a Chinese label, but the project fell through before ultimately finding a home with Virginia-based Dialog Records which just released the effort on vinyl and digital.
DOWNLOAD: “Colored Lights,” “Worse Things Have Happened” and “Chopping Bock”