Apollo Ready for Lift Off

5 Sep

James Apollo

James Apollo can actually say that wander is his middle name. Apollo, a singer/songwriter currently based in Colorado and New York, was born in Arkansas, but spent many of his years in Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York, Tennessee, and now, Colorado. Oh, and there is the fact that Apollo’s actual middle name is wanderly. Some people fit their name perfectly.

Apollo has embraced his travel experience and allowed it to shape his music, which likens to that of Tom Waits, Alexi Murdoch, and Joe Pisapia, with excellent lyric baked into pastoral music, worldly and candid. It is the warmth emitted from Apollo’s songs that make them so appealing – a trait that is developed through his quiet, yet noticeably perfervid voice.

On his first tour of Europe, Apollo, who was supporting Grizzly Bear, was invited to perform on BBC. This led to several more radio appearances and a Manchester television feature. His UK audience grew. In 2010, Apollo released his UK debut album Till Your Feet Bleed. His new record Little War, Little Less was released in June of this year. Let’s enjoy a mini sampling of some tunes

“For Now” is a track off of Apollo’s 2010 release. Two elements of the song stand out to me. The delicate melody is intimate. It transports the listener to a mild night somewhere under stars on the open Plains circa 1810. Okay, maybe that’s just me. Its sweet simplicity is engaging and engrossing. Apollo’s voice helps add to this feeling. The vocal demonstrates an example of an individual who understands his voice. Thus the song’s verisimilitude. The listener understands, because Apollo is able to portray his raw emotion effectively.

“Blessed Or Bust,” a track from Apollo’s recent release, is markedly different from “For Now,” but it doesn’t lose any fervor. The song begins with a sprightly piano riff followed by a crash of rhythm, filled with horns and drums. This is where the strength of the song lies. As the song progresses, Apollo’s voice is shadowed by some sprinkled harmony and what even sounds like a flute. The culmination of all instruments, vocals included, at the end of the piece fits perfectly. 

Check out more of Apollo at his website, Facebook , and Twitter

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