Greg Loftus Releases EP

Greg Loftus has logged in the time and heartaches to write the sort of songs we hear on his Western Medicine EP teaser. It is a two-track preview for the full-length album, and he’s picked a pair of cuts that do a good job exemplifying his current approach to Americana music. Loftus cut his teeth as a punk rock fan before drifting into Americana as he grew older. It is not difficult to imagine that the form inspired him for the same reasons punk rock did - its authenticity and unabashed embrace of self.

It eventually helped motivate him to leave his native Boston music scene behind and decamp to Austin, Texas for a brighter musical future. He has played steadily since then, particularly for six years with the alt-country band Carpetbagger, before embarking on a solo career. Western Medicine deals with themes of death and disarray highlighted in these two songs like so much of the music you've heard since the pandemic faded.

The first “When My Day Comes” deals with the subject head-on. Loftus couches his message about facing his end in “down home” language without seeming pretentious. It is no small thing for a Yankee boy from Massachusetts and neither is the song’s musical backing. Loftus’ accompaniment for the song does not just approximate what you think material such as this should sound like but, instead, gets under the song’s skin. The various forms of guitar, the well-placed percussion, and Loftus’ vocal weave around one another with effortless grace.

BANDCAMP: https://gregloftus.bandcamp.com/track/when-my-day-comes

The production for both songs strikes the right note. Loftus never tries dragging the music deeper into Delta blues, it owes much to the form as it is, but instead maintains a balanced approach capable of appealing to a wide audience. He takes a near-180-degree different approach for the EP’s second song. “Hill Country Choir” refers to the famed central region of Texas and we get some of that feeling in this song with its scattered lyrical repetition.

It is much closer to the bone than its predecessor. He abandons the full-band approach of “When My Day Comes” in favor of a spartan set-up that bolsters the song’s immediacy with listeners. It sharpens the message as well. Loftus’ writing cycles between a plain-spoken conversational style and brief poetic flourishes that contribute a lot to the song. He is an outstanding vocalist – read the lyrics, if you can, before hearing the song and listen to the way he makes them come to life.

He's been making music for a while now, writing songs since he picked up a guitar at age 12, and no one should expect him to ever stop. The two-song teaser for his Western Medicine EP covers miles of psychic territory in a small amount of time without overwhelming or wearying listeners. You come away feeling inspired by a songwriter full of verve and an obvious grounding in tradition. If this teaser does not send you out searching for the full-length release, it’s difficult imagining what might.

Anne Hollister

Anne Hollister

We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.

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