Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie

(Universal)


BAHAMAS plays the Danforth Music Hall November 5. See listing. Rating: NNNN


Bahamas has always been mostly Afie Jurvanen, but he makes that much more apparent on his third album, and not just in the title. The delicate country-soul songs feel even more personal than previous outings, and Jurvanen plays most of the instruments. The folky acoustic textures are closer to the foreground this time around, but there are still plenty of artfully arranged instrumental embellishments and creative use of audio effects.

As always, these include gorgeous guitar playing and pristinely arranged harmonies, and the gospel-inflected moments are especially effective. Sprinkles of strings, flute, piano and horns help brighten up some of the more introspective parts. The unexpected disco-folk groove of Stronger Than That is one of the few upbeat moments on the record, and even that song is pretty laid-back. Jurvanen continues to prove his ability to craft subtly sad songs that still make you smile and feel like things will work out in the end.

Top track: Waves

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