For Fans Of
Jake Mcelfresh, who plays under the name Front Porch Step, has released his latest full-length album ‘Aware,’ which is a truly emotional journey from start to finish. The fact that we are dealing merely with an acoustic guitar and Mcelfresh‘s gritty vocals, and this is still able to make the journey a gripping one, is a testament to some very fine song-writing and storytelling abilities.
Opening track ‘Angels and Demons’ is a simple yet desperate start to the album, penned by someone stuck right in the thick of love, and the heavy burden of that realisation is reflected in the weighty chords and strumming pattern that gently drives the song along.
This is followed by the title track, a slightly brighter song musically that delves into much darker lyrical territory of a person who has fallen in love with someone who does not feel the same way. The frustrations of the lyrics in the chorus line are delivered with a strong and catchy melody, while the guitar line keeps things sweet.
This record should seem a little more repetitive than it actually does, there are obviously limitations with a singular instrument, however the power of the delivery supersedes this. The songs are presented with a purpose that makes them difficult to tire of. Tracks like ‘Lullaby’ are the sunshine through the clouds, a beautiful love song that also includes a string arrangement and subtle harmonies for colour making it an album stand-out.
The record closes with the swaying ballad ‘Island of the Misfit Boy’, which takes its cues from a Frank Tuner-like pub sing-a-long and ‘I Won’t Say That I’m Okay’, a gentler song with an underlying bass presence that makes it seem like the most honest and important track on the record.
Front Porch Steps manage to bring something unique into what on paper should be just another acoustic singer/songwriter record. It could be the heart on sleeve approach which is the main theme of the record or quite simply, very talented song-writing.
1. Angels and Demons
3. Private Fears in Public Places
5. If I Tremble
7. Run Away
9. The Day You Took The Good Away
10. Island of the Misfit Boy
11. I Won’t Say That I’m Okay