Not a bad little title for Doug Tuttle’s latest, Dream Road wraps up the gauzy take on folk that the songwriter spins on the new LP. Born out of a buttery brick of folk-rock that’s not entirely removed from the itch of Americana going ‘round these days, Tuttle’s vision is given an airiness, as if the better part of the record evaporated and filled the listener’s lungs with a sunny vitality. As for the remainder, Tuttle’s dream isn’t without clouds either. There’s a bittersweet bite to tracks like “Twilight,” and “In This World Alone,” and they drag their fingers in a watery weariness that’s ultimately as comforting as the sun.
Tuttle keeps things deceptively simple, with the sound remarkably full, despite relying mostly on layers of guitar, a scratch of drums, and vocals that bounce around the room attempting to coat the corners in a melancholy miasma. A touch of country slide here, a web of jangle n’ strum, a shock of effects now and then- but at heart this is folk-rock inherited from Fairport, Gary Higgins, and Roger Rodier. What sets him apart is coating those folk bones with the pop polish of Jeff Lynn or Gene Clark. Peace Potato hinted at bigger things in store for Tuttle, and with Dream Road he’s making good on those promises.
I’ve long held Tuttle in regard as a fine songwriter who’s been destined to make a bigger splash. This seems to be the moment for him, or perhaps the beginning of a bigger journey. He’s toeing the line between pushing his sound to new widths, heights, and lengths without spilling over into excesses, as can sometimes happen. Its an album that’s grown without pains, stretching to fill the room with a blissful sigh. There are a lot of sunny days on the way and Tuttle’s crafted a companion piece to each and every hazed beam that breaks through the trees.
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