Many of us fell in love with Afie Jurvanen’s Bahamas project when he released Barchords (2012), an homage to broken-hearted people in Montreal. Now, Jurvanen has renewed our affections with his latest release, which has revamped elements of his usual low-key, under-produced sound.
The album starts with “Waves,” an upbeat song—at least for Bahamas—with all his classic elements: High-pitched guitar strumming, a moving chorus in the background, and Jurvanen’s seemingly not-even-trying, silky folk croon. Bahamas knows how to use a semitone step-up in his melody to break the purposeful simplicity of his lyrics and keep the listener curious as to what’s going to happen next.
Despite his knack for being unpredictable, songs like “Half Mine” and “Nothing to Me Now” are the uniform, hard-to-avoid filler songs in between the creative genius of tracks like “Stronger than That,” “All the Time,” and “Like a Wind.”
Jurvanen laments an unrequited love in “All the Time” using Black Keys-like blues elements like low resonating electric guitar and unique vocal arrangements to make this one of those catchy songs you can rock along to. “Like a Wind” is an epic falling-out-of-love song, with intense bass and percussion to accent the most emotional parts and unique electric guitar riffs interwoven with a lamenting backup chorus.
If you enjoy the musical stylings of singer-songwriters like Jack Johnson and M. Ward, you will probably love this album. While it might not introduce any groundbreaking musical themes, it offers unique songs and seamlessly weaves in popular influences to create a diverse musical experience.