Jamil Apostol’s ‘Off The Beaten Path’ worth the trip
Reno singer-songwriter Jamil Apostol released his debut album, “Off The Beaten Path,” recently. What the 25-year-old did with his album is create an artwork that flows from start to finish. This album is a glimpse into an interesting life of traveling — finding new experiences and making new friends. Apostol’s melodic voice and harmonious guitar playing will give any listener goosebumps.
He kicks off the theme of adventure and travel with the first track on the album: “Departure.” With train tracks in the background and some simple strumming on the guitar, we’re ready to take off and go.
Apostol doesn’t take long to show you what he’s all about. “Homeless Romantic” showcases his voice, storytelling, song writing and guitar playing. It’s a cute, quirky song that people can relate to. Apostol’s shows passion with his voice, annunciates the lyrics clearly and has a smooth flow. The trumpet throughout the song also provides an upbeat element.
“Open Ticket Ride” continues those feel-good vibes with a great rhythm and a catchy chorus. This fun song is cheerful with meaningful lyrics. The chorus is memorable and it’s the type of tune that remains stuck in heads for days.
Sometimes a song sounds perfect for a movie soundtrack. “108 Miles to Freedom” gives a vision that there’s a hero who is about to make an epic journey. The song is cool and it carries on with fantastic guitar playing and vocals.
Going with a slower, deeper sound, “Waterfall” sets a different tone, but keeps the good vibes flowing. The song features lots of different instrumentation and gets kind of spacey throughout, but Apostol keeps everyone grounded with his vocals.
“Full Beaver Moon” is beautifully written. The soft guitar playing is as mesmerizing as a lullaby. The harmonica added in really sets the mood as a soft melodic track.
The soft mood continues through the next track, “Off the Beaten Path.” The pitch in Apostol’s voice is much higher with a sweeter tone. It gives off feelings of melancholy and change.
Apostol takes a stronger folk approach on the track “Great Mystery.” The tone of his voice changes to bring out more of the sounds of Appalachia. Playing the banjo on this track, he keeps things simple and doesn’t include too many instruments to distract from the charm of the music.
While most the songs speak of Apostol’s experience with life and traveling, “My Red, White, Blues” is a look through his eyes. His lyrics allude to modern issues while delivering his message through an enjoyable piece.
Wrapping up the album, the sound of the train comes back. It’s time for “Arrival” and with that, Apostol ends the joyful ride with a short jingle.
The team of musicians that created “Off The Beaten Path” are: Apostol, vocals/guitar/banjo/harmonica; Will O’Dell, trumpet; Will Trakas, mandolin; Peter Brownlee, bass/djembe/piano/electric guitar; and Kendra Warren, backup vocals.
It’d be hard to pick a highlight out of this album because almost every song sounds like it could be a hit. Apostol created a masterpiece with his debut.
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