Sounds Like Fall
The Wolf Is At The Door
Yerbird Records
Released - 7/4/05

Joe Young wastes no time grasping your attention with his hypnotic, subtle, and at times cautiously delivered vocals and gently strummed guitar on his debut disk “The Wolf Is At The Door.” Hailing from Iowa, he's been a staple of the midwest music scene for a few years now as the lead singer of Ames. While that may be a vague introduction to the man whom resides beneath the moniker Sounds Like Fall, his debut is a far cry from such a thing.

As soon as I heard the demos from Yerbirds site, the talent and his ability to effortlessly tell a story was instantly noticeable. The addition of the steel guitar and light drums on the produced record compared to the demos really rounds out the sound extremely well and keeps the listener engaged throughout.

The sound dips into each of the folk/country/singer-songwriter genres while consistently maintaining a constant medium. One of the most impressive things about the album was his ability to allow you to not just listen to the music, but hear it. On "Precious Morning" the vocals pop in with an ever so slight delay leaving you in a dreamy state for the first two mintues till the progression picks up a bit and transports you from that dreamy landscape to a porch sipping iced tea. "I went down/I went down the long way/I went down/I went down the long way/Precious morning come and take your place" While the clip I yoinked from the song surely doesn't do it justice the delivery of that chorus is delectable.

"Picture In My Wallet" was a favorite of mine from the demo session, and one which ultimately made the cut for the album. The changes for the final cut really won me over as his voice melts into this track while it stood out as a bit different - probably mic influenced - from the demo take. With a little twist up of the lyrics and the addition of the steel guitar, the song jumps to a whole new level.

All in all, this album is an excellent display of a talented singer-songwriter doing his thing. There's no beating around the bush, it's all straight to the point. Touches of M.Ward's vocals are found in bits and pieces of the album while flickers of Dylan and Cash early on come to mind. After the first listen, you're not left uncomfortably full, you're left with a sound as honest and endearing as it's lyrics. It's a fantastic start for a talented musician and a label just starting up. Have a listen to some of the tracks below or order the album here

Sounds Like Fall - Precious Morning
Sounds Like Fall - Picture In My Wallet
Sounds Like Fall - In Your Hands

Score: 13 | 15