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David Courtenay

Unravel


Monday, July 29, 2013

Unravel, the newest album by Santa Barbaran David Courtenay, features soft acoustic strumming, benign narratives, and relentless optimism. It’s easy to appreciate Courtenay’s sun-baked, feet-in-the-sand grooves. In the steady rolling jam “About Time,” he sings in quasi-suave couplets, “It’s been a long time I’ve been kept in the dark / now a fire’s been ignited ‘cause you set off the spark.” “Under My Hood,” a ballad of comical errors, shows off his self-effacing humor with a story about helping a woman with car trouble. The lyrics progress with the double-entendre-using woman manipulating Courtenay in ever-escalating means, eventually leaving him helplessly tied to her bedposts. The album channels Michael Franti with campy reggae-adjacent tunes like “Hear Your Cry” and “Arms of Redemption” and sweeping flamenco folk in “Love Calls Out.” Courtenay, who leads a double life as a yoga instructor, proves that he finds harmonic comfort in blending slide guitar and bongo drums into one saccharine batch of positive vibes.

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