Greg Jacquin’s Hudson River

Greg Jacquin’s Hudson River

BANDCAMP: https://gregjacquin.bandcamp.com/album/hudson-river

After listening to the eight tracks on Greg Jacquin’s Hudson River, it’s evident that his muse is the opalescent New York valley. It’s not hard to imagine him writing lyrics and strumming his guitar while sitting on an Adirondack chair, except for the foliage piling up and coloring the pallet, his songs have sadness to them – the feelings instead scrape together. Jacquin’s weathered voice and prose make for a remarkable folk-Americana album.

“The Station” is the first track and it’s well placed. Jacquin’s voice has flashes of Lindsey Buckingham mixed with Cat Stevens. What makes this track such a standout is the captivating violin. Without it, it’s still an interesting and worthy song, but the violin brings into it a brightness and beauty. Jacquin sings “I’ve been in a such a fog lately / I don’t think anybody knows.” It seems to be a theme with him in Hudson River – his loneliness and harboring of feelings.

“The Station” transports you. It’s moving and it’s just lovely.

“Floating” at first felt like it was going to be another standout track. The violin (again!) just really grabbed me. After a few listens, I enjoyed “On The Moorings” more. It’s such a great Americana song – it has that panache. It’s folksy without trapping you inside a cabin. Jacquin gives you room to breathe-in his cozy elixir.

Fans of Spoon and maybe even Rilo Kiley will like “Scratches & Bridges.” I loved the horn introduction to this song. None of the songs on Hudson River are dance tracks, per se, but “Scratches & Bridges” felt the most like a get-together and sing-a-long to me. Which is strange considering the lyrical content: “cause I got scratches on my back. And I got bridges to cross. And they remind me where I’m at. And I got bridges to cross.” So, yeah, the chorus and lyrics are deeply, well, near depressing, but Jacquin keeps you on his side.

“Scratches & Bridges” really does gnaw at you and you find yourself hitting replay.

The song “Yesterdaze” showcases Jacquin’s darker, grittier voice. This is the fifth track, and by now you feel like his open-diary put to song is par for the course. “Hopeless Entrance” seals the deal on Jacquin’s artistry. It’s a sleepy track, you feel almost claustrophobic and invasive. At first I wasn’t sure if there was a chorus – he takes a chance and puts the chorus a bit further apart. While he’s singing about staying in bed all day, Jacquin still manages to create empathy. There is such dark beauty in his words and his vocal delivery.

The remaining tracks “The Station (String Mix)” and “Floating (radio edit)” round out the album.

Overall, Greg Jacquin’s songs are incredibly moving and brutally honest. Hudson River might not have a sunny disposition, but in the music world where Mazzy Star, The Smiths, Bjork and Pink Floyd all thrive, Jacquin’s morose lyrics still get a big stamp of approval. He’s a wordsmith. And he’s certainly an artist.

Michael Rand

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