Safe And Also No Fear
LAME-O / COOKING VINYL
With the vivid and triumphant SafeAnd NoFear, it appears Jake Ewald has finally found his zen as a songwriter. The cuts feel comfortable, yet exciting and experimental; the guitars are dazzling and doughy and on the rare occasion, surprisingly intense, and the dexterity with which Ewald’s vocals traverse them is something of auricular wizardry. So too does the newfound full-band chemistry leave a sizzling imprint, from the sentimental “One Day” to the raucous and rollicking “Good Ones”, to the dusky, droning “Black Oak” (which feels like a spiritual sequel to another SBD gem, “104 Degrees”). Not quite as punchy or bold as Welcome, but a definite step up from the laggard Birdie, LP3 peeks at a bright future ahead for this fiery Philly foursome.