It’s always good news when the word comes down that Rich Aucoin has a new record out. His recordings are so much fun to listen to, and Hold is no exception. This EP is Aucoin’s first release of new music since his last full album, Ephemeral (2014).
Containing a scant four songs, Hold is remarkable for its musical diversity. It’s the kind of music that can simply wash over and nourish the listener, as Aucoin takes us to “church” in this collection of soulful meditations. Struggle and conflict are present here, but after listening, one is left with an over-arching impression of hopeful optimism.
The first track, “The Fear” begins simply, and grows into a 1970s-era rock groove. It builds steadily, and ends with a jam under a lyric which (Aucoin states) is, “a mantra for the importance of overcoming our fears, fostering the evolution and improvement of our lives.”
Solid arrangements and outstanding musicianship serve to lift up these tunes. The lush, layered soul sounds of “The Dream” (that falsetto!), and the ear candy synth-pop of “The Middle” are obvious standouts. Our journey ends with the exhilarant electronica of “Release”. As exciting as it is hypnotic, this piece clings to its main theme throughout, while Aucoin and company take us to some interesting musical and dynamic places within that structure.
Rich Aucoin is always pushing the boundaries of his craft. He’s got something to say, and he delivers his message with energy, style and creativity. With such a strong showing in the small collection of tunes on Hold, Rich Aucoin definitely leaves us wanting more.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: RICH AUCOIN – HOLD