Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paleo - A View Of The Sky

There is something quite intoxicating about David Strackany’s voice. It’s hard to explain exactly what makes it so endearing, but there’s a certain quality to the sound that can’t be underestimated. On his latest release, A View Of The Sky, David Strackany (otherwise known as Paleo), raises the bar for the independent modern folk scene. Like a fresh, spring morning, Paleo whisks in and opens our senses to all that is real and important about life.

Perhaps best known for his Song Diary experiment in which Paleo wrote and recorded a song a day for 365 days, A View Of A Sky is like dessert after a huge meal. The bareness of a 13 song album following a 365 song project is comparable to an empty canvas or a blanket of fresh snow. The possibilities are endless. A View Of The Sky takes advantage of this fresh start with dignity and creativity.

Opening with a rockabilly/folk/punk hybrid, the title track to A View Of The Sky storms into the ear and immediately takes hold. By the three minute mark, the listener knows something special is taking place and that Paleo is a talent to be reckoned with. The urgency of the song demands our attention, and once we are aware, Paleo captures us with his musical brilliance. The stomping ruckus of the opening track is a precursor of the good songs to come.

Lead single, The King James Fakebook, continues the path of strange uniqueness in Paleo’s vocals and guitar ability. The electric guitar dominates this song with a slow southern drawl that pulls the music together. The pleasing ear experience on The King James Fakebook makes it one of the best songs on the record. The complexity in the composition blended with the vocal originality of Paleo and the unique, borderline nonsensical, lyrics highlight this song as a standout.

As with most singer/songwriters, the lyrics play a large part in the vast greatness of this record. Hammering home themes of love, loss, loneliness, religion, and an altered view of the world, Paleo shows us the view from his window. The listener gets a deep look into what Paleo sees and feels through his short and sweet musical tunes. Sometimes this is light and happy, but other times it can be long and desolate.

Hello And Behold has the vibe of a brisk autumn walk in the woods – peaceful, calming, and serene. A beautiful acoustic guitar drenched song mixed with the slightest hint of electric and an easy drum beat, Hello And Behold is a Sunday afternoon in the fall. If you close your eyes and let the song overtake you, most of your worries are going to be whisked away. The beauty lies in the simple construction of the music and the softness of the song. It’s brilliant.

While the album ends on a slow clunker, You In Your New Winter Coat, it does not take away from the overall magnificence of the record. Not only is A View Of The Sky enjoyable, it’s also addicting. It’s a record that you can’t listen to just once. After the first spin, you will find multiple plays being made on your stereo. Paleo may just become your new best friend.

Key Tracks: A View Of The Sky, King James Fakebook

Ryo’s Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

Track Listing
A View Of The Sky
World’s Smallest Violin
The King James Fakebook
Too In Love To Die
From The Sky Down
Good Blood
Hello And Behold
The Deal
Man Oh Man (Why Oh Why)
The Password
Everything Must Go
Me And Mabelene
You In Your New Winter Coat

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