Side Saddle writes warm, comfortable folk music, not just for horseback riding

3 Nov

With the volume of music being created today, it is refreshing to hear an artist that capitalizes on the fundamentals of songwriting. Ian McGuiness released a new folk record this year as Side Saddle, and is forthright and earnest from the outset. As a nod to his hometown, McGuiness calls his album The Astorian, allowing us to feel the upstate New York environment that so moves him.

The album opens up with “When It’s All Done,” a welcoming number. I find myself pulled in with the familiar chord progressions and the crescendoing chorus toward the end. Next up is another strong track, “Halcyon,” and the melodies branch out from there.  The album takes on this satisfying tone, one where I know where the album is going to take me, but I am happy to join Side Saddle on the journey. A journey that concludes with one of the strongest tracks, “Lush.” It starts out as a contemplative ballad, lamenting an old love, until it picks up with driving drum beat. Then enter heavy guitars, anchored by a gentle piano riff. An impressive finale to a solid folk-pop record.

The Astorian is out now. Find more information on Side Saddle’s tumblr.

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