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“Glorious, calming Americana melodies in the realm of Beck, CSNY”
Los Angeles, CA▼ Article continues below ▼
In his new Americana-style LP Night Songs, Mark Bates delivers the goods with a feast of Bruce Hornsby pianos to savor, a pinch of the Eagles lyrical wit, and a twist of Crosby, Stills and Nash-like harmonies. “Ghost Tonight” opens up with a stirring intro of winds and percussion, bringing the listener feelings as if he or she is being transported out West. Singing of brick layered streets and old oak trees, Bates remarks of “holding hands with a ghost tonight.” This song is very eerily reminiscent of the tunes on Beck’s Sea Change.
Soothing, mellow sounds of violin, cello and pianos are found in “No One There,” displaying Bates’ artistic wisdom and ability to craft strong instrumental parts with graceful flair and utter ease. Similar sounds are found in bands such as the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons. “Simple Love” features brilliant percussion and gorgeous jangly guitars, with a touch of colorful bass.
There is a great wealth of textures and melodic colors on this album, such as those found in the ballad “Smile,” a tune of country charm. The faithful “Coming Home,” which sings of the winds and the feeling of finding home “one day at a time,” is an ever-present theme on this record. Its slide guitars and scintillating pianos help us touch the stars with a sentimental longing for one’s family. Each song is a mountain to climb, knowing that if you do so, you’ll find peace of mind, fulfillment and a sense of happiness when finally reaching the winds and cooling rains at the top.
As the music plays, you can truly sense Bates’ remarkable gift for writing songs with clarity, works of art that have beautiful, detailed imagery and enchanting, brooding melodies. Night Songs is a strong effort, with a combination of his influences shaping the record’s sound, complete with arrangements that are simple, yet captivating. The rhymes and images are delightful and fruitful. Night Songs is a dynamite album to savor and reflect upon, to help heal and build the heart, to help our soul’s journey find purpose.
Produced by Eric Lijerstrand
Engineered by Vanessa Parr, David Martinez and Ethan Carlson
Mastered by Joe Gastwirt