Band/Artist: Jacob Hungsberg
Album: Trade Winds
Official URL: http://www.jacobhungsberg.com/main.html
About the Artist: Jacob Hungsberg performs, writes and records in a unique hybrid style that fuses the rhythms of UK and America with rock melodies and a lyrical sense of humor. Jacob Hungsberg started writing and recording original indie, folk rock when he was 16, on his father’s eight-track recorder, in a home-made studio in Loveland, Colorado. Growing up in Medford, Wisconsin, at 13 Jacob began taking guitar lessons from his father, after hearing The Beatles “Rubber Soul” album. “Days and nights, and months and years spent dissecting that album.” Coming from a musical family he was introduced to a variety of music from: Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Johnson to Chet Baker and Miles Davis.
This latest 4 track EP is entitled “Trade Winds”
Review: I have to say I was extremely impressed with the opening 3 tracks “No Outlet”, “Foolish Things” and “Red Leaf.” All 3 songs made quite the first impression on me as each one possessed my full unadulterated attention. To be honest: I expected cheesy Indy Rock that was extremely predictable and shallow in nature – very compatible for a mass audience. Well shame on me because what I discovered was actually quite the opposite. The whole CD is wonderfully conservative yet full of what I would call powerful melodic energy with music that appeals to so many different senses on so many different levels. It reminds me of Grizzly Bear, Robin Pecknold, Bon Iver, The Tallest Man on Earth and Andrew Bird. I can also hear the slight Alternative Folk Rock influence in there as well. What I really like about Hungsberg is his musical intellect via amazing lyrics that are simple yet really hit home with the common everyday person. There’s also no attempt to sugar coat the truth or deliver what I call over the top alt rock. Cheesy music with a handsome face via top flight sampling, cookie cutter songwriting via a mix that sounds more like a commercial than a piece of music. Whether it’s musically, lyrically, inspirationally, emotionally, spiritually – “Trade Winds” keeps it real and covers it all.
Favorite Track: Red Leaf
Criticism: Hungsberg needs to let loose behind the glass more when recording vocals. He elects to take the low road in this department by keeping things relatively lukewarm. The voice is the critical selling point when listening to an artist – whether intentional on un-intentional it’s the one thing that draws in listeners regardless how good the music is. I think a guy like Hunsberg needs to find himself a new producer and production team that can push him in the right direction to get the most out of his sound. This may be the only way he’ll reach his full potential as an artist.
Conclusion: “Trade Winds” by Jacob Hungsberg will affirm your faith in Alt-Pop again. Hungsberg is a unique, hard-working artist that knows his way around a studio (even though it’s borrowed), a catchy song and a concert stage. He represents all that is good in music and his latest EP “Trade Winds” delivers a highly passionate, instinctually stimulating catalog of music via rock solid musicianship, entertaining songs and music that covers all the bases: Alternative Rock, Singer/Songwriter and even Alternative Folk or Pop.
by Michael Crabtree. Approved by Cyrus Rhodes.