What is it about the Pacific Northwest? From an outsider’s view, the region appears rife with talented mountain men with a knack for harmonies. The latest such bearded byproduct is Seattle’s Bryan John Appleby.
Appleby’s debut full-length release Fire on the Vine is an elegant collage of heart-felt folk that hits on all cylinders. His rich, pictorial songwriting creates a landscape of sound that has a breadth of emotion stretching beyond your typical folk singer. I use the word collage for a reason. Appleby’s songs play like snapshots without a coherent story tying it all together.
Listening to Appleby is not unlike viewing a painting. There may be a concrete image from which to begin your opinion, but the interpretation is left in the eyes of the beholder. This is not Dylan’s folk, with well-rounded stories unfolding like novels in five minutes or less. Appleby’s writing is more abstract. He had this to say in a recent interview with Common Folk Music:
“I’m excited about writing a song that messes me up and hopefully messes up some other folks. Make of that what you will. Everyone knows the feeling, when you hear a lyric or a melody or a chord that feels like it’s bending you. You feel it pushing you. I love that.”
Stream the entirety of Fire on the Vine below. It is currently featured as bandcamp’s album of the week. As such, it is available for a reduced price of $5 via Appleby’s page until November 14th. Act fast, because the price will jump back to $10 thereafter. Enjoy!
Written by Rob Peoni