As much as I love watching Buckley lay into a band trying a little too hard to sound “classic” (R.I.P. Black Keys), more than that I love coming across a band or singer that pulls it off. And in this case, by “pulls it off”, I mean completely embodies The Timeless.
I discovered Covenhoven when I took a gamble, clicked on an interesting link in a Noise Trade promo email, and let an artist (who claims to sound like him) try to fill the Damien Rice-sized hole in my heart.
Covenhoven’s Self-Titled Album begins as many a Damien Rice tune does; a lonely sounding acoustic guitar. It is quickly joined by a distant vocal, a banjo, and just enough strings to lift the song off of the ground. This raw guitar becomes a staple for the entirety of the album, and the consistently sparse instrumentation throughout hints more at intentionality than simplicity.
While I was smitten from the beginning, I still wasn’t completely head-over-heels. Then came track six. Search Party makes an almost instant impression, and captures the essence of the entire album; a man who is disillusioned with everything but nature and love. The first words of the entire album are “I’ve always been young at heart“, and it seems that the only change time has brought is that now the young boy wants someone to take by the hand as he charges headlong back into the wildwood.
When I noticed the live video for Search Party, my first thought was just “well that’s not fair”. The orchestral outro to “A Love Sincere” had been incredible, as well as a definite “moment” on the album, and hearing this song recast with a string trio finally won me completely over.
One of the smartest things I’ve done in the past few months is sign up for Covenhoven’s newsletter, so I can continue to get updates from his Immersive Studios Sessions in Boulder, CO, and keep up with an artist who I have no doubt will in a big way be recognized for the talent that he is.