Humble Bragger’s Jacob Peter released his solo debut, “Wind Song” about a week ago, and every time I listen to it, it just gets better. Honestly, I’m sure that if I were to write this review a month from now, I’d give it an even higher score. I mean, I have a lot to say about this LP, more than I can fit here, but I’ll give it a shot.
“Wind Song” is a Beatles-inspired, Wilco-approved, Fleet Foxes-coveted masterpiece. From the opening pop chords of “Stella” to the closing falsetto “oohs” of “Wind Song (Part 2),” Peter covers a vast distance, both musically, lyrically, and emotionally. In terms of texture and sonics, “Wind Song” is pretty straightforward, (save for the banjo’s utilization on the final two tracks) which certainly does no harm to the album. The clean chords and distant leads enhance the atmosphere quite beautifully, resulting in a pensive, reflective mood perfect for a night commute or a relaxing evening at home. And while those scenarios are great and cute for a reviewer to point out and everything, it doesn’t scratch the surface of what makes this album such a triumph.
So, in order to really talk about what makes this album great, we should address what defines greatness manifest in a recorded work. Generally, a true album will take on a common thread, be that in form of narrative, motif, or mere stream of consciousness. Though composed of separate and distinct songs, this thread will join these separate bodies as one. And Peter’s narrative is one that flows seamlessly and without interruption. What begins as a classic tale of unrequited love, loneliness, and general mopery blossoms into a revelatory epiphany of self acceptance and interpersonal connection. Which brings us to the most important element that sets masterworks apart from all other mundane 45 minute collections of recorded media: the ability to tap into the human psyche, to touch the listeners soul. Anyone can tell you that a listener should be able to relate to a song or an album’s topics of inspiration, (hence many artists discussing break-ups, loneliness, loss, etc.) but this is far different from connecting with the listener. Not a lot of artists are doing that these days, (there are a few, however) and let alone in a local music setting. This means that the artists that do connect stand miles above all others. And I can say with much certainty, that Jacob Peter stands among them. “Wind Song” is an instant Buffalo classic, delving deep into the yearns of the spirit, the need for each soul to truly become itself, to love, to dream, to exist, to “sing [its] wind song.”
This review is different from others in the sense that it is not a track-by-track guide to the album, and this is because this album is not meant to be taken in such a way. One “Wind Song” track cannot exist without its counterparts. “Wind Song,” in all its quirky, charming, passionate, artistic beauty may just be the Buffalo album of the year.
Recommended for fans of: Wilco, Fleet Foxes