Album Review

Jeremy Squires Can't Shake The Shadows

Jeremy Squires - Shadows

Jeremy Squires – Shadows – Release: February 19, via Shaker Steps

Jeremy Squires’s new album Shadows, like his prior records, provides an emotional window into the singer’s innermost feelings. The album relates tragic experiences from Squires’s life which gives listeners a nerve-wracking view into the emotional toll suffered by the songwriter.  While Americana music is littered with melancholy tales of drinking, loss, and broken romance, Squires delivers raw, concise lyrics – ungarnished by flowery rhetoric that candidly spell out tragedy. In a lyrical style similar to Michael Rank, Squires relates sadness in a way that listeners can relate too.

In “Hourglass” Squires writes:

 “When I was 17,  I got the call that my father had died,  And I went to my bedroom and cried,  On the floor beside the TV,  I thought about when I was a kid,  And I thought about what my father did, and we didn’t do.” 

One can almost feel the healing power that these lyrics must have on Squires, as he courageously searches for peace of mind amid the turmoil.

Shadows is the fourth album released by Squires since he went solo in 2001. The album is the first produced by the Kentucky-based music company, Shaker Steps. The North Carolina native went solo in 2001, and from 2012 to 2013 recorded a trio of albums that play out like a personal journal. Unlike his prior album, When Will We Go, Squires omits most instrumentals and focuses on his intricate acoustic guitar and provocative lyrics.

 “Your Love,” perhaps the best song on the album, contains an infectious chorus and great vocal inflections:

 “December, left dust, on frosty leaves,  To cover, my world, just like a dream.” 

At times, Squires could sing more forcefully on the album. His best songs contain confident, punctuated vocals as he boldly explains some of the tragedies that beset his life.

All in all, Shadows resonates like good poetry set to guitar. Anyone who has suffered personal loss will be moved by the courage Squires shows in writing his songs, and those who have not will enjoy his deeply moving lyrics that speak to his impressionable experiences.

(+words by chris dishman, @altcbeyond+)