Posts Tagged ‘Am I Doing Right By You?’

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On his first album in almost four years, New York singer/songwriter Ben Seretan churns out stirring folk-rock with an impressive level of dynamism. The album highlight, “Am I Doing Right By You?” features layers of clamorous guitars and busy horns, but there are also bare passages that give way to Seretan’s hushed, introspective vocals. It’s an unpredictable thunderstorm—complete serenity one minute and ground-shaking bluster the next. With each listen, another sprinkle of intriguing, atmospheric sounds pours out, but its vast emotional capacity remains a constant.

“You will always be hungry / For something you can’t hold,” Ben Seretan sings in the opening minutes of his latest LP, an undeniably dynamic examination of how human beings seek meaning, whether in a higher power or in each other. The California-born, New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter longs for community on slow-blooming opener “1 Of” [prays] to the breeze / with asphalt in his knees” on the pedal steel-accented “Power Zone” yearns to properly honour a lover and/or deity on stunning centerpiece “Am I Doing Right by You?” harmonizes with his late friend, artist Devra Freelander, on the open-hearted “Shadow” (and others); and recalls being baptized on “Holding Up the Sun.” Youth Pastoral is a stunning album that draws its power from Seretan’s Neil Young-like vocals, his evocative, soul-baring songwriting, and a rustic, reverent hum befitting of its heavenward gaze. 

A large, golden retriever puppy of a man who is frequently audibly delighted by the music that comes out of him. A secular youth pastor with high-fives at the ready who is most comfortable in cut-offs. Shreds hard, but not to show you that he can shred hard, but that life is wonderful. Proud subway commuter. Very gentle. He thanks you for listening.

Am I Doing Right by You? on Whatever’s Clever Released on: 2nd November 2020,