Posted by: will | January 30, 2006

Rocky Votolato…

BEST NEW MUSIC

Rocky Votolato "Makers" (Barsuk)

Rocky Votolato is a name that frankly more people should know. Votolato fronted the superb emo band Waxwing for a number of years before going solo full time. Rocky's amazing and passionate vocals were always front and center in Waxwing. Votolato's solo output never really hit me the way Waxwing did though. That is until Votolato released Suicide Medicine in 2004. That album had all the simplistic beauty of Votolato's earlier solo material coupled with the emotional rage of Waxwing.

Makers sees Votolato making the leap to the bigger indie pastures of Barsuk Records. Makers is a somewhat more subdued affair than the quite heavy themes explored on Suicide Medicine. Votolato still seems to wallow in the same beautiful misery as his other previous albums though. I would not have it any other way. Rocky's lyrics always have a way of getting to me. They can range from gorgeous to disturbing to hopeful to downright depressing. If you aren't a fan of what they call "sad bastard music" then you probably need to go ahead and move along.

It really feels as though Votolato has finally hit his stride on Makers. You can almost feel how comfortable and confident he has become in his craft. Votolato has an uncanny way of touching on how beautiful and painful life can be. I, for one, will always hope that he does not get too comfortable. I want him to keep sharing that gift with us for as long as possible.

RIYL: Elliott Smith, Damien Jurado, Paul Westerberg

Listen:

Rocky Votolato – Portland Is Leaving (mp3)

Rocky Votolato – White Daisy Passing (mp3)

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