Spokane, Washington’s Joel Ansett, who has been writing songs since he was a child, recently releaseed a new album, The Nature of Us. The 12 tracks on the album range from very familiar and Jason Mraz-like to more gently, stripped, folky/emotional numbers.
Opening up with an acapella introduction, the mid-tempo “Kingdom Come” kicks it up quickly with finger snaps and a very R&B beat, remaining chill and tight throughout. One is reminded of Mraz and Ed Sheeran. Ansett sticks to a similar formula in “Already in Love”, another chill mid-tempo pop love song with a slight soul flavour. The lyrics remain of the same sort as well, touching on the concept of love in a rather superficial way typical of this genre.
“Turn to Gold” is stripped of all extra pop-flavoured layers which helps emphasize Ansett’s emotion-laden vocals. This slow-tempo folk-pop track features an acoustic guitar and not much else; it’s a number that could easily be featured in a television show in the background of a seminal moment in an episode.
The tempo is kicked back up in the pop of “My Heart Is Set” and with it, an optimistic and almost joyful view on life centered, of course, on the person he loves. Folk elements are back in force in “Covered Up”, a subdued number in which Ansett discusses the darker side of life with the pride, shame, and guilt it entails and what helps dissipate it (you guessed it: a woman).
“In the Eye” is a mid-tempo, fun R&B and pop number in which Ansett reflects, through the almost bouncy melody, the feeling one gets when eyes meet, a spark flies, and potential for so much more suddenly appears. “Tragedy Is Not the End” includes violins, making a track already touching thanks to lyrics like “No I don’t think its an accident/That tears are shaped like seed” quite poignant. “Give Our Hearts Some Weight” has a certain sweetness to it, ushered in from the very beginning by female vocals humming and maintained throughout by a gentle melody played by a limited number of instruments.
Joel Ansett’s The Nature of Us isn’t ground-breaking but does offer fans of Jason Mraz and Ed Sheeran the opportunity to add songs of the same style to their music library. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about Ansett is available on his official website and Facebook page.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.
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