You might find yourself dancing in the rain, or just dancing in the middle of the street when it comes to the songs on A New Heart from the Kevin Thomas Band. Led by the higher range singing of Thomas, the entire sound on this album is full and delightfully complex. Evoking the sound of The Beach Boys and The Dave Matthews Band all rolled into one, the resulting emotions are often joy and positivity. Based in San Diego, California, the Kevin Thomas Band is one for your radar.
According to his press materials, Thomas previously founded the rock band, Stratosphere. When he’s not teaching music, he’s also a meditation teacher. He definitely explores the ideas of vibration and different ways sound heals. The title, derived from a backing harmony singer he hired who had just had a heart transplant, is further proof of his optimism and enlightenment. You will find yourself rooting for Thomas. I definitely felt the power of the songs and the way they uplifted my mood.
“The Big Picture” is the opening track – and it quickly establishes Thomas as smooth, a bit eclectic and captivating. I think the allure of the song is first the lyrics, but also the grooves that seem to change midway through the song. It’s like he brings the sound of the beach through an Americana filter. From there, it’s the upbeat “Comfort Zone”. I loved the message of this song and how it urges people to get out there and do stuff, get out of their little pocket of the world and explore. I think the sound that Thomas brings into this song, too, is a wide swath of folk, pop and a hint of the Laurel Canyon sound.
In “Time” the sound is really hitting its stride. I loved the connection between the songs – they are all on the same tapestry, but just little tweaks here and there. Thomas’ songs have a definite theme of everyday thoughts and universal themes. In “Money Tree” he gets a bit heftier with the guitar arrangements. It sounds more like a garage band. Sing my money song, do-do-do, Thomas sings. I liked this song because it showed a different layer of his personality, and it was just such a simple, yet perfect pop track.
“Let Your Arrow Fly” has some definite gems. This song is mellow and yet it really energizes the listener. You feel empowered. Self-care continues in the jumpier “Reinvent Yourself”. I love how Thomas bookends “Let Your Arrow Fly” with “Money Tree” and “Mirror Mirror”. I think when you look back and really take in the storyline, this order makes great sense. “Mirror Mirror” has Thomas singing about going down a ‘rabbit hole’. In my mind that is often a great place, and you feel the need to break yourself out of that attitude. I think he accomplishes it.
“High On Chocolate” is literally about the perils of sugar. I’m certainly guilty of having a sugar addiction and I found myself hitting repeat a few times on this standout, too. The final tracks are “On My Way Out”, a slower track where you can hear that lovely acoustic guitar neck break, and the very good closer, “The Best Luck Around”.
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