Album: Jason Kaminski – Far Away Places

Far Away Places is the newest album from Cleveland singer-songwriter, Jason Kaminski. The album is a terrific mixture of open-chord indie folk, cosmic country, and alternative rock. Like Elliot Smith wearing a cowboy hat.

Far Away Places exists in a nighttime world, a mystical place that vanishes during daytime hours. The Van Gogh’s Starry Night-esque album cover gives us a glimpse of this world with a portion of a nighttime cityscape and the red taillights of a midnight driver navigating between street lamps. The album feels like the soundtrack of someone who would be aimlessly driving around in the dead of night in an insomniac and contemplative stupor. Like someone on their way to the diner depicted in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting.

The album is full of surprises. There are pedal steel guitars lurking in the corners ready to emerge just as frequently as the more expected grungy, gritty guitars of indie rock. The driving force of the album is Kaminski’s dark, low-tuned acoustic guitar and heart-breakingly beautiful melodies sung over tastefully sparse drumming. Besides the guitars, these are accented by interspersed organs, pianos, and harmonies. Standout track “After Hours” best exemplifies the album’s dark and mysterious beauty. Even though the album seems to exist only at night, there are occasional glimpses of sunshine in songs like “Los Angeles” and “Jackpot”.

A very solid and enjoyable record from start to finish. Far Away Places is available digitally and on pre-order vinyl via Head2Wall Records.

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Written by John Brouk