Jeremy Poland & Lantz Dale – Timeless Soul
Jeremy Poland and Lantz Dale, the producer behind Poland’s debut Southbound Heart, struck up such a musical and overall artistic rapport during the recording of that album that they’ve branched out into writing and recording Timeless Soul, an extended EP of sorts featuring seven songs, only one running over five minutes in length, that feature acoustic guitar successfully mixing rock and pop inclinations without ever favoring one style too much over the other. Poland and Lantz have complementary vocal styles and enough differences in background and musical education to create an interesting contrast. Poland, for the most part, is a self-taught musician hailing from the American South while Dale is a college educated musician. When listeners take these two facts into account, it’s easy to hear how the duo sounds as well-rounded as they do. Timeless Soul is an apt title. Their wide-ranging approach to these deceptively simple performances hits upon timeless elements in both rock and pop music to extraordinary effect.
The union is ideally highlighted on the track “All Yours Now”. The verses have a lot of understated musical value before transitioning into an uplifting, catchy chorus that will bring smiles to many faces. It’s difficult to not like this music; everything is so well placed and geared to elicit a positive reaction, but it takes genuine skill to do that and it’s easy to appreciate it in every turn on Timeless Soul. The second track “In The Light” is even more understated and carefully performed than the first, but adjectives like “careful” shouldn’t be applied to the duo’s work as an insult. Poland and Dale are, obviously, deeply invested in getting these songs right and the consideration they show to the material is evident in the development of songs like this. “All Over Again” has a much more light-hearted musical approach with its gentle, loping swing and playful, charismatic vocals. “I’m a Wreck”, however sweet the musical packaging might sound, is far from a light-hearted musical jaunt. It isn’t the longest song on Timeless Soul, but it’s by far the darkest and paints a bleak lyrical picture of a life at low ebb. The glistening musical backing and beautiful vocal harmonies mitigate the darkness some and make it a more palatable experience for listeners.
“Where Did It Go?” would make for a solid rock song, but it has a lot of energy even in this acoustic setting. It benefits from the same sort of hard-hitting, catchy chorus that makes tracks like the opener so memorable while still showing off reams of emotion. Timeless Soul ends with its title song. The track is much more in the same mold as “In the Light” than nominally poppier numbers like the opener and has some truly personal lyrics that will resonate with all but the most cynical. Timeless Soul is full of timeless themes and musical moments that are, simply put, in short supply today. Jeremy Poland and Lantz Dale’s natural magic with each other pervades the seven song collection and will make a deep impact on anyone who cares to listen.
9 out of 10 stars