Chadwick Stokes: The Horse Comanche

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Chadwick Stokes: The Horse Comanche

While I must confess that before being assigned this review I had never heard of Chadwick Stokes, I am surprised that his work has never appeared on my musical radar before now. Blending a form of music reminiscent of John Butler and his ever-changing trio with a softer, acoustic guitar-driven sound a la Vance Joy’s ballads, Stokes weaves an album with a variety of sounds.
On the surface the styles seem disparate and clashing, but when you actually sit down and listen through the album, it blends really, really well. With a twangy, thudding bass line underpinning upbeat, sunny melodies, there’s a rustic, country feel to Stokes’ music – a rather unexpected vibe, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.
There are a few songs that outshine the rest – track five, ‘Our Lives Our Time’ is particularly enjoyable – and some songs sound like they could’ve been written in the ’60s and still be in circulation today. The Horse Comanche has soft-rock ballads, twangy country tracks and upbeat acoustic pop tracks not unlike Jack Johnson’s earlier work.
While Stokes utilises a wide range of instruments across the album, the main focus of Stokes’ sound comes from the ever-present acoustic guitar that acts as an anchor for each and every track. The Horse Comanche strikes me as one of those slow-burn albums; slow to build up, and slow to grow on you. The more you listen to it, the more you pick up on, and the more you enjoy it.
Out now via Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl Records
Reviewed by Alastair McGibbon