A beautiful excursion through a vibrant nature trail.
More often than not, I struggle to connect with folk music that is so smooth and pristine that it glides by without much notice. Thorin Loeks is my new exception to this rule. His new album ‘In This Place’ is an acoustic folk album that feels like you’ve taken a retreat to a wooden cottage far away from the hustle and bustle. From the warm and rich melodies to Thorin’s full-bodied voice and the uplifting tones – it is an album of rejuvenation and calm.
A huge reason for my connection to this album is in the way how nature is incorporated into the mix. ‘Intro’ has a stream trickle alongside the guitar, ‘Tonight’ has waves lapping, ‘Still Here’ has a monk-like drone and ‘Let it Rain’ is wet. The recurring themes of water and a low resonant hum that Loeks sings appears constantly across the album. It is as if you are moving around a lake or a shore and then stopping, having a sing-song and moving on. An inspiration for Thorin Loeks was visiting the Yukon Territory and that shows throughout. On the track ‘With You’ that recurring low hum becomes a tribal call. It feels particularly earned as a lot of the music seems to pull you towards a moment of complete unity and connection. This feels like the exact moment everything made sense for Thorin and it’s a lovely touch for the listener.
Elsewhere, it is acoustic guitar all the way with bright drums and sweeping rich synths or synth strings. The music is designed for large vistas or an indie coming of age film. I also really enjoyed the use of frame drums such as in the superbly triumphant ‘Ice Age’. It feels like Loeks had a breakthrough here but connecting little by little to his roots and that Earth energy is strong here. If you need something a little more relaxed but poppy ‘Tonight’ and ‘Game Plan’ largely have you covered. The former is ripe for radio with its jangly electric guitars and poppy synths. The latter is a heartfelt acoustic ballad that reminded me of Sea Wolf.
Thorin Loeks has created a beautiful album with ‘In This Place’. A journey through hills and lakes, guitar on his back – it is lush, bountiful, joyful and calming. The melodies and lyrics feel earnest and it is the kind of album made for Spring. It takes a lot to stand out from the acoustic folk crowd but Thorin does it with ease.
Recommended track: Game Plan
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