Next up is “No Silver,” that continues with the folky path, which the foundation was laid for on the opening track. This tune combines elements of folk (big surprise), Americana and alt-rock, the sound that made Mumford & Sons popular. This slice of Americana-roots music is a well-written song. Like the rest of the songs on the record, the lyrical theme of darkness and alienation that comes across so beautiful that you don’t know what hit you due to Bathgate’s intense, acidic lyrics.
“Fur Curled On The Sad Road” is a lot heavier than it’s predecessors. Stacked with intricate drums, plucking/haunting riffs and an overall ominous tone, Bathgate takes the listener on a different path here and shows the range of his songwriting, invoking memories of The Band (think “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down”). While he remains true to the elements of the album that steer it too of course, “Levee” is a reminder to the listener that they too can be challenged within a certain genre of music and thus, isn’t bored by the monotony of an album of simple alt-folk tracks.
Overall, Salt Year is a solid effort from the troubadour. While he doesn’t stray too far from a particular songwriting formula, he stays within his comfort zone to create an album that is definitely worth a listen.The album will be released on Quite Scientific Records on April 26 and will be available at all major retail outlets. After a month-long tour starting in Canada in February and culminated with several SXSW appearances, the singer will be gearing up for a short run in Michigan at the end of April. Check his website for more info.