Through These Waves

Bill Scorzari

Independent release, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Though New York's Bill Scorzari had no less than 12 people lending a hand on this sophomore album, it's Scorzari's rugged, sage-like vocals that are front and center of these soulful songs. Often compared to legends like Tom Waits and Steve Earle, Scorzari on Through These Waves also brings to mind younger Americana stars like Lucero or Chuck Ragan.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The hazy, languid opener “A Dream Of You” sounds indeed like a fuzzy dream with soft instrumentation that takes a back seat to Scorzari's distinct vocals. Often sounding like he's been eating 50 grit sandpaper, Scorzari's pipes run along the lines of Lemmy, Frankie Stubbs (Leatherface), or the aforementioned Hot Water Music frontman, Chuck Ragan.

The album highlight doesn't take long to appear, as the secnd tune “A Brand New Deal” combines an upbeat feel with a bluegrassy, mountain-esque feeling and an orchestral backdrop into a perfect execution of playfulness and sophistication, not to mention clever, warm storytelling. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this could be the best song of 2017.

Scorzari proves he's skilled at sparse balladry across the entire listen where sincere, gruff tunes like “Shelter From The Wind,” the ever so gentle “More Of Your Love,” and the haunting “She Don't Care About Auld Lang Syne.” These selections resonate with a seemingly basic beauty that runs parallel to the greatness achieved by Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) or Matt The Electrician. Fuller offerings like “Hound Dog Diggin'” and “For When I Didn't See” make full use of the folk, roots, and Americana hybrid that's often prevalent and would be a great companion to The Decemberists' The King Is Dead.

I feel pretty confident saying that there's not shortage of DIY artists who feel they have a knack for songwriting and are doing something really exceptional. Scorzari, on the other hand, strikes me as a humble guy who doesn't even realize how deep his talent lies. For most of us who care to listen, however, the realization of how truly unique and special Through These Waves is won't take more than one track to figure out.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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