Small Houses

Exactly Where You Wanted To Be

Written by: TL on 01/06/2013 13:42:31

With its mere eight tracks, "Exactly Where You Wanted To Be" is a quick little record from Small Houses, a moniker that hides one-man band and Michigan native Jeremy Quentin, whose debut album "North" I have vague yet positive memories of. On the sophomore Quenting once again treats us to a style of indie/folk/country that I'd paradoxically label as contemporary traditional, because despite it's predictable similarity to Bob Dylan, it doesn't sound dated, yet nor does it really bring much new to the table.

The musical mainstay is softly, finger-played acoustic guitar, harmonica and piano, backing up Quentin's soft, raspy voice in an atmosphere of Americana that recalls both Dylan as well as other well-known imitators Ryan Adams and The Tallest Man On Earth. It's all for the better really, because while innovation is hard to spot, it's also less the point here than traditional songwriting virtues, which are evident consistently throughout the album. Especially opener "Oh, Hiding Out" lays down a simple melody that's easy to like and catch onto, while "The Last Night Of Summer" whips up a sense of warm sentimentality with the piano coming in to back the acoustic plucking.

The record moves on quickly, yet charmingly, with all the authenticity of a man who obviously sticks to the merits of the music he loves, and to the emotions of situations he's lived, and while it doesn't make for a musical revolution, songs like the ones mentioned or "I Saw Santa Fe" are such a friendly, soulful listen that you'll likely be compelled to put on for at least the fair few next times you feel like just settling down and taking it easy. In a conclusion as quick as the album then, I'd summarise "Exactly Where You Wanted To Be", as the kind of release that proves that some times doing good at something tried-and-tested can come off a lot more succesful than many of the efforts trying to reinvent the wheel.


Download: Oh, Hiding Out; The Last Night Of Summer, I Saw Santa Fe
For The Fans Of: Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, The Tallest Man On Earth, Ben Howard

Release Date 26.02.2013
YerBird Records

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