Artist: Sean Magwire
With minimal percussion, we are Among the Burning Stars, silent -- alone with beauty. Sean Magwire builds lush environments with layers of vocals, acoustic guitar, cello and piano. Check out Magwire's craftsmanship on "Sun Goes Cold." Piano chords form the sturdy window pane, so keyboard notes can fall like raindrops. Then Magwire doubles his vocals, achieving the same gorgeous tone as Peter Gabriel in his prime. And on the same track, Magwire adds falsetto blends, accenting the song the way Bon Iver does -- Magwire doing so in rounds, no less.
Other contemporary touches include ascending harmonies on "Be Here" (a la Mumford & Sons) and the quick chord changes of "Dear Dear" (Mumford; Philip Philips). "Golden States and Restless Ways" is another example of Magwire's skill. After a second hook capped by the memorable line, "[Katie,] I forgot to write you into my story," we get a perfectly-placed bridge of marching piano.
"Best of Me" is where, lyrically, Magwire shines. Magwire's narrator sings to his ex-[but all too current]love, "Lost myself outside your door...I gave you all I had...Seasons come, and the years go by / I set my course and I close my eyes / 'Cause you are where I want to be / Right there with the best of me / If I go before you leave / Let me know what you have found in me." Sean Magwire is where he belongs: Making us happy with song. He is passionate, and beloved.
*** The author of this review, Jesse Russell, plays the katem for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8