RADNOTBAD: Caleb McCoach

27 Jan

Caleb McCoach - Songs From An Empty Shore-Optimized

Caleb McCoach

Songs From An Empty Shore

Last week as I glared out of my window at the fresh Austin snow it became apparent that my attempts of moving south and escaping the cold forever have been for naught, what also was apparent is how I had completely forgotten about finalizing a winter mix which of course brought my thoughts back to the incredible music of Caleb McCoach and the realization that I have been keeping his album Songs From An Empty Shore a secret for way too long.

Whether acoustic based music is your bag or not it would be impossible hearing his songs without instantly feeling the  important brilliance within the lyrics. By becoming overtly personal the songs somehow metamorphose into these self-effacing attacks on social-mores in a way which is precisely cutting while simultaneously drawing the bow across chords of transcending openness, it is as if he were holding the light to some ill lit path of ominous shadows and unsure footing, whispering words of assurance with every step… Caleb McCoach may not know where we are going, yet somehow having him walking beside us makes the entire dark experience better.

There has always been undertones of duality within McCoach’s songs yet on SFAES he takes a more direct route, becoming less vague by giving all of it a name. Obviously his self-awareness and quantified thinking come to loggerheads with religious convictions, those are the shoes he walks around in for ten gloriously humble tracks. In a way it helps make sense of why I am drawn to these songs like a benny addict while simultaneously wanting to destroy them for putting a finger on all those insecurities and second guessing thoughts I have spent years burying beneath drugs and mindless pontificating of abstract ideals.

Caleb McCoach isn’t exactly an acquired taste but in a similar fashion his music is a decision we have to make; each time we pull his songs up we decide to look square in the face of our own short comings, our own hypocrisies. The steadfast doubt and inevitable disappointing of oneself is called into question from the very first line to the very last, SFAES is an incredibly aware album about coming to the end of the road and knowing that on some fundamental level we have let ourselves down, that all those ideals of our youth did in the end turn to shit despite the best intentions. Covered in ashes and emptiness, here we stand with nothing left but those ideals to hold onto, only now they are no longer battle cries of ambition but instead razor sharp tokens of nostalgia held tightly by our shaking and weary hands, Songs From An Empty Shore is Dharma Bums if it had been written in four/four time from some dilapidated building in Indianapolis.


Caleb McCoach – Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud


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