Michigan musician Jonny Carroll began as a busker in his home state before embarking on a quest to conquer the crowds in the UK. The last two years have seen him rise from the streets to infiltrate the airwaves of radio stations on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as winning critical acclaim for his inaugural EP, The Willow. Now he has returned to unleash his first full length album, Leaving on the Light.
The happy harmony of “Painted Jars” sees the record off to a sunny start before a barrage of bright riffs establishes a light but enlivening ambience. The pace remains pressing as the merry melody mesmerises amid moving music on the way forward. It’s all very vitalising and vibrant until the touching instrumentation of “February” takes over. A soothing serenade soon sets in to absorb across stirring strings and gentle drumming, the result of which is an extremely serene endeavour that remains restful as it unfolds.
The tranquil riffs of the title track enthral through a relaxing refrain next. This affable affair is followed by the affecting guitars of “Sound of Falling”. The soothing song that ensues keeps captivating as it drifts delicately in the direction of the enthusiastic introduction of “When I’m Alive”. A friendly refrain follows from here to thrill atop energetic instrumentation, giving rise to a wonderfully rousing folk/pop piece.
“Words Unspoken” slows back down then with tender riffs that arrest underneath poignant singing. The outcome is a laid-back and emotional ballad that makes a powerful impact ahead of the equally elegant “Joshua”, which goes on to guide things to a thoughtful terminus.
Carroll has composed an incredibly cordial and compelling compilation here. By combining characteristics of contemporary pop and folk, Leaving on the Light succeeds in showcasing an accessible sound that should appeal to fans of a multitude of genres. Be sure to sample it for yourself on iTunes.