Rating: ★★★★☆

Lee Koch presents this wonderful country album towards the end of August, and it’s one to look out for. While it isn’t the generic mainstream album that I often review, it breaks away on its own and offers a new light away from the otherwise monotonous music library.

Gentle beats and beautiful, raw acoustic sounds take the album through all twelve peaceful songs. A more upbeat song begins, in Journey to Unfold, but a mellow and calm second song, Trusty Branch, is what I’d call a favourite. You don’t hear whistling in songs often, and the majority of the time, it sounds off. In this instance though, it suites the song perfectly and adds so much more to the mood. The satisfaction from whistling along to it offers huge inspirations.

A more bluesy song follow, Being Broke, taking a spin in the classic blues progression we so commonly associate with classic blues from the Americas before popular really music kicked off. Fantastic solos and lyrics give a modern twist to the somewhat old-school sounds and a discreet distorted guitar also adds a little more on texture when that appears at the surface.

Some peculiar songs fill in the middle in My Fathers House and Gun & Blessing, appearing to take another modern take on a bluesy country song, before a more acoustic filling Breathe Deeply, which returns to the country sounds from the beginning of the album. Another favourite song appears in Precious Gift; beginning much much softer than anything else. A raw vocal takes control over a calm guitar melody that continues in the background. Echoing through, the song builds up softly into a more powerful acoustic song that demonstrates the diversity of the sounds on offer within the twelve songs.

Our Feature shows off a similar mood, however a more sound more commonly associated with typical country music appears next in Celebrities and another bluesy song in Sweet Release. The album is finished with a live recording of Keepin’ On, giving the feeling of a lively bar. The exciting song makes great use of piano and a simple chord progression on guitar, and a call and response between both the vocalist and pianist.

It must be said, that to break away from mainstream music and the usual chart music, this is a wonderfully busy album that takes you on a journey through many different ‘classic’ genres, which ultimately has its country inspiration. While it is something I’d highly recommend, it’s not something I’d rush out to buy.

Artist: Lee Koch
Release Name: Whole Hear
Type: Album
Date: 2013, August 27th
Purchase Link:  N/A
Artist Info:  LeeKochMusic.com

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