This October, folk crooner Jake Thistle is taking listeners on a journey into what can only be called a stunning revival of old school folk-rock; a bold fusion that is best embodied in the new single and music video “Brooklyn Can Wait.” “Brooklyn Can Wait” has the look and feel of a folk-rock song with the cosmopolitan construction of a standard pop single, and though the combination of contrasting flavors is a lot to take in at once, it’s without a doubt one of the more fascinating sonic cocktails I’ve heard from an indie artist in the last few months.
The hook in the chorus is very modest, but it doesn’t fail to warm up the chilly percussive strut that haunts the bassline in the background of the track. I don’t want to hear a lot of recycled beats in contemporary folk-rock, and thankfully, Thistle doesn’t waste my time with anything even close to that dribble in “Brooklyn Can Wait.” The groove is original, supple, and matches up well with the anti-indulgent approach taken to the strings. It’s not the excess that we’ve become accustomed to in so many of alternative folk-rock’s big-name releases this year, but then again, I don’t think that it’s trying to fit in with that crowd or any other established “scene,” honestly.
I do wish the guitar parts would have been just a little bit louder in the master mix because there’s a lot of underscored color in their licks that I found to be more exciting an element than anything that the drums or the keys have to share with us here. The arrangement is very meticulously structured, which makes it all the more frustrating to find it buried in a lot of exoticisms and needless frills that don’t do much for the narrative in the lyrics or the prowess of the guitar’s forsaken pummel.
The verses get somewhat predictable the deeper we get into the song, but they’re a step up from everything else I’ve heard out of this guy’s scene recently. His adherence to individuality in this single is admirable, as is his commitment to making a song in his own unique way, and I don’t see where this could impede his growth in future outings, either.
He’s still got a long way to go before you can anticipate seeing him topping the international charts, but there’s no question that Jake Thistle is taking the steps that he’ll need to take to get there in “Brooklyn Can Wait.” He’s expanding on what feels like a signature formula, incorporating new influences that will eventually forge an even more interesting persona in later works, and touching on sonic territory that a lot of his closest rivals would normally shy away from. This isn’t Thistle’s watershed moment, but this single has given me a gut feeling that says we’re not all that far away from seeing that very moment soon, perhaps in the form of a new studio album bearing his name in the byline.
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