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Thomas Truax Releases A New Collection of Songs

A well-placed melody can speak volumes when its melodies are put in the right arrangement to communicate to us, and in the songs “A Little More Time” and “Origami Spy Arrives in Paper Boat,” it does this with surgical precision, occasionally eclipsing the lyrical narrative of singer/songwriter Thomas Truax with its unfiltered statements.

The strings dance in an inelegant volley steeped in a mild swing in “A Wonderful Kind of Strange” while finding a slightly heavier groove to sway with in “Big Bright Marble.” They flicker like a candle’s flame in the bitter wind in “The Fisherman’s Wishing Well Prayer” and “Free Floaters” while holding steady and true to a groove in “Dream Catching Song” and “Birds & Bees.” From the honest harmony of “The Anomalous Now” to the crushing commentarial poeticisms of “Everything’s Going to be All Right,” Truax is pulling out the big guns with Mother Superior and legendary drummer Budgie to please his fans in the new album Dream Catching Songs, which is already stirring up quite the burst of buzz this spring.

Alternative music is diversifying like nobody’s business in 2023, but for this singer/songwriter, remaining loyal to puritan songcraft has never been more important, and further, more integral to his sound. 

Where I get the feeling that “Everything’s Going to be All Right” and “Big Bright Marble” were made for the stage, I don’t think they’re presented to us in some sort of an underwhelming fashion on this disc. Contrarily, I think both of these songs, and to a lesser extent the poignant “A Little More Time” and “Birds & Bees,” are offered up in their most modest forms in this setting, perhaps to tease whatever medley could arise out of pure inspiration amidst a live performance from Truax with or without Mother Superior or Budgie.

I love the harmonies that comprise the backbone of “The Anomalous Now” and “The Fisherman’s Wishing Well Prayer,” and had they not been as beefed up via the EQ as they were, I don’t know that they would have accentuated the lyricism in these tracks as well as they ultimately did in this instance. Poetically, I think Truax is more vulnerable in this LP than he has been in the past, and if how he’s approaching this latest release is but a sample of how he’s going to tackle future projects, I’m confident we’re going to hear even better material than this from his camp in the next couple of years. 

It’s not quite as eclectic in tone as a lot of critics had told me it would be, but for my money, I would still rank Thomas Truax’s Dream Catching Songs as being one of the smarter must-listen indie records to come from a left of the dial source in 2023. Almost all of the tracks on this LP are multifaceted wonders that could be described as more involved and elaborate than the status quo typically calls for, but for the most part, there’s never a moment where the main spotlight isn’t focused solely on Truax’s passionate voice and the simplistic strings that echo his emotions.

Mindy McCall 



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