Bahamas is the musical alias of Toronto artist Afie Jurvanen and his latest record clears up any confusion on that matter. Basically a self-titled release, Bahamas is Afie is perhaps more personal than 2011’s Barchords. Whereas Barchords was produced by Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Jason Collett, Zeus), Bahamas Is Afie is self-produced and the personal touches are evident.
Opening track, “Waves”, is a comely folk song, the ladies in the backup vocals recalling Barchords favorite “Lost in the Light”. I love the crashing piano toward the end of the song; it brings the record to life perfectly. “Bitter Melodies” and “Nothing to me now” didn’t resonate with me as much as “Like a Wind” or the old-school country sounds of “Little Record Girl”, which stood out to me as two of the album’s strongest. “All I’ve Never Known” is simply beautiful, a complete stunner and my favourite track from the record.
His signature laidback falsetto is still there as is his warm, soulful folk tone that made Barchords so exceptional. His style is definitely rootsy and a bit more “adult contemporary” than I’m usually comfortable with, but it still swept me away. Afie has some serious guitar chops, but they come out more smoothly and delicately than your average shred. His voice is soulful and lush and makes the whole record flow like one big exhale.
Jurvanen’s superb guitar and vocal performance along with the inspired songwriting and little subtle touches of orchestration turn this album into a warm musical breeze. Get cozy and check out this new one from Bahamas (released August 19)!