How long before the term “Americana” jumps the shark? Not the music, but the term. Is there any other word we can use for the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons (never mind that whole Brit thing), The Avett Brothers, Good Old War, etc.? No? We’re stuck with “Americana.” Sigh. Fine.
If you’re a fan of new … Americana … music, you have to check out the Volume One, the new EP from Rocketboys frontman Brandon Kinder, using the moniker The Wealthy West. With Volume One, Kinder proves himself a worthy addition to the cadre of musicians doing this style of music. Simple arrangements and lyrics (and do not confuse “simple” with “boring”) highlight Kinder’s crisp, clear, voice. From the opener, “Love Is Not Enough,” a shot at the writers of trite songs who make it sound like, well, love is enough, Kinder puts out songs that make you feel—and actually think about what you’re feeling.
If there’s a gripe to make about Volume One, it’s that it’s a tease. The five-song EP shows that Kinder has the range and talent to churn out some great music, and you can’t help but think he could have taken a few more months and written and recorded five more songs to make a complete album. But, if Kinder is of the “always leave them wanting more” philosophy, then Volume One should be successful in whetting listeners’ appetites for whatever may come next.