One of my trusted musical savant pals recommended I take a listen to this San Francisco Bay Area artist he recently saw at an open mic. After taking a few spins, I have fallen for his music too, in a big way. It’s got tones of My Morning Jacket vocals, resonant piano chords, and raw doo-wop harmonizing of the 1950s. All this from a kid of nineteen, recorded at home.
Jake Troth is a North Carolina native, currently passing time in the Bay Area before heading out here to Colorado for college. The Ups and Downs of Being At The Bottom is his first EP, and he’s putting the final touches on it for a spring/summer release. My friend pointed out the semblance to some of the simpler tunes of Coldplay, but noted that “they don’t sound like that anymore so it’s good someone is filling the shoes.” Personally, I find this stuff more compelling than Chris Martin and Co. in its unassuming purity, although I hear the similarities too.
Gram LeBron of Rogue Wave also helps out with two songs on this EP — the title track (stream on MySpace), and a lovely tune about songwriting and slick grey streets called “Oakland On A Rainy Day”. I would posit that there are far too few songs about San Francisco’s lesser known cousin to the East, and Jake’s tune is a killer offering.
Check out these tracks like whoa:
Hold You Tight – Jake Troth
The best Under The Sea school-dance music from the ’50s sockhop that I never went to. I love how the acapella harmonies are raw and echoey, not glossy, the lyrics endearing. This is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in the last few months. Hot dang it’s good.
Caroline – Jake Troth
A small, perfect, piano tune about driving out to California, leaving Caroline far behind — and I just don’t want to stop listening to it.
It ends, I restart it.
Make your ears thrilled and head over to his MySpace to check out more of his work (I love all three songs he currently has up, definitely download “Not Enough”). The EP The Ups and Downs of Being at the Bottom is now completed, written, recorded, screen printed, and copied by Jake himself. They’re available for a mere $10 by emailing Jake or contacting him through MySpace. I hope Jake keeps doing what he is doing, ‘cos this is good stuff with loads of talent and potential.