Searching For Sunlight

Golden Bloom

Rhyme & Reason Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A vehicle that began as the solo outlet for the multi-instrumentalist Shawn Fogel, these days Golden Bloom is a full band. Fogel takes input from Josh Cohen, Justin Hofmann, and Jeff Patlingrao to help flesh out memorable and universally relatable tunes.

The band decided to do everything in-house this time, which increased the timeline of the album being made and involved bringing on bassist Matthew Girard. But that move results in a more mature and refined version of an already stunning but sadly underappreciated group.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Looking Up To You” starts out with gentle acoustic strumming before building into a fuller jam band explosion of banjos, horns, and contagious 'woah ohs.' “Circles Round My Mind” follows with a quaint indie rock feel, reminiscent of Evan Dando, where moody lulls are met with bright melodies. “Great Unknown” continues the formula but delves into moodier territory and is delivered with a sonically louder feel. At the halfway point, “Books You Never Read” takes a drastic turn into a bluegrass-y, mountain-esque, breezy listen that is both soulful and soothing.

The second half of the disc starts with the percussion focused and lap steel friendly “Fall Out Of Line” before another sharp turn into the hand clapping, finger snapping, sing-a-long title track “Searching For Sunlight.” Though it's acoustic based, it's loud with vocal interplay that just begs to be played around a campfire. “Come Back Home” brings synths into the equation, shifting the band nearly into '80s New Wave territory. The album exits on the very tame “Want Love,” which brings on celebrity guest vocals from Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), who is also one of the band's biggest fans. 

While most of this album is upbeat, pop rock based, and full of melodies you won't soon forget, all eight tracks revolve around thoughts that fill the contemplative recesses of our minds and at time invoke thoughts of sorrow. Seeing as the band sequestered themselves up in Maine to record this disc, it only makes sense that it would come with much mulling; but thankfully, it beams with just as much warmth, sincerity, and timelessness, too.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2016 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rhyme & Reason Records, and is used for informational purposes only.