Album review: BRENT WINDLER – New Morning Howl

Goldstar Records [release date 27.08.21]

New Morning Howl is the debut album from Kansas City singer/songwriter, Brent Windler.

Big things are expected of this exceptionally talented artist.

There’s definitely a touch of Paul Simon about Windler, in the way that he incisively, yet poetically documents human feelings and failings, and the world around him. There is perhaps more warmth to Windler’s songs, at least in the way they are packaged… the soft pastel shades of the acoustic guitar that guides him through the seasons of a doomed relationship in standout track, ‘Spanish Jasmine’, are a case in point. And where Simon’s lyrics are sometimes sharp pointed, Windler’s are inclined toward romanticism.

Opening track, ‘Around The Bend’ suggests he’s been thumbing through a discarded (been there, done that) notebook belonging to Jellyfish or the Wondermints or even, in its more abrasive moments, to Imperial Drag.

Like the high calibre stuff those bands created, Windler’s songs are immaculately crafted, using instrumentation and deceptively simple arrangements to fashion an aural, power pop landscape around a catchy melody.

His latest single release from the album is ‘My Josephine’. If Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach had been writing partners they would have come up with a song just like this.

Both artists created songs graced with elegiac passages and fresh harmonies that were rich in color and mood. Windler goes a step further, submerging his sophisticated melodies in verses of downbeat Americana, giving this song (and others) a depth that other writers can only dream of.

The future looks bright for Brent Windler. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

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