I must confess to not being at all familiar with the music of Ian Sherwood, but upon my first listen of his fifth studio album, this Halifax, NS, native has certainly inspired me to seek out much more of his material. Dubbed as acoustic folk, Sherwood offers up much more to fans of this particular genre. With a polished feel and sound on par with other ‘folk’ acts that have found considerable success recently, “Bring The Light” definitely has enough of a mainstream vibe here to transcend musical boundaries.
Ian Sherwood delivers twelve original tracks that share elements with many of his contemporaries within and beyond this genre. Go ahead and start with “Leaving Alberta,” and enjoy that haunting saxophone intro before opening into a number that shares many traits with the music of Leif Vollebekk. Progress to the next track, “We’re Only Human,” and become absorbed in what I would consider to be a folk-pop crossover power ballad. The yielding of the instrumentation to the gradual dominance of the vocals offers stark similarities to the likes of Kodaline.
With the piano and strings at the forefront, “Don’t Want To Leave” offers folksy hints of The Lumineers, while “I See Red” sees Sherwood willing to challenge Coldplay’s territory. And with another Chris Martin sounding “I’m Not the Boy,” Sherwood seems happy to be in such a place. At least until we encounter “Hits Me Right,” with a blues-Cajun intro and intermittent vocal distortion, or the dominant drums and whistles that accompany the alt-folk number, “Firefly.” The bottom line here? Ian Sherwood has compiled 12 distinct ‘acoustic folk’ songs that offer plenty of diversity and tempo to satisfy both fans of the genre and those from the mainstream that may be branching out in this musical direction due to the likes of those artists referenced within the article. Recommended listening.