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S/T

Englishman
SELF-RELEASED

Englishman’s debut shouldn’t come across as too foreign: The acoustic-focused trio is fronted by Andrew English, formerly of The Scourge of the Sea, and he’s joined by These United States guitarist Justin Craig and Lexington solo artist Matt Duncan. For this follow-up to last year’s EP Taxidermy, English gains competent assistance from Craig’s warm, inviting, bare-necessities-only production, laid down over 10 days in a converted barn in rural Ohio. English’s voice recalls the best characteristics of The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and James Taylor: kind, tuneful and buoyed by distinctiveness. Late in the record’s sequence, “Pet Cactus” sees English’s untroubled singing approach take on gradual intensity. He will need those attributes to avoid becoming an everyman in the swelling legion of songwriters walking contemplative routes.