A steady hand drives the tiller on the debut from Farser, the new solo project from Fez Gielen (Maybel, Le Ren). Not quite as sparse as his work over the past few years with Maybel, the Canadian country/folk group who’ve captured a beautifully bittersweet slice of the new indie country crest, Farser finds Fez embracing a more robust sound. Gielen splits his time both North of the border and in the deep south of Texas, a divide that informs the heart of Vision Rd. The album dips into the cosmic country deep end, but also beats with the heart of a bedroom pop project. It’s an album augmented with velvet textures, dream-draped atmospheres, and a soft twist of twang that comes on slow, but stays a while once it’s on the speakers.

Gielen can work his croon from ranch hand to bandstand, working a winking country ramble through something a bit more plush, bringing to mind Sam Burton’s reclined delivery or Cut Worms at their most mercurial. As he eases towards dreampop, the album lets the listener lounge, but it shines brightest as it takes those county corners. With a reeded jocularity on his delivery, he turns pop polish into something that snags the listener and holds ‘em tight. The record benefits from a deep bench of friends out of his Canadian enclave — Lauren Spear (Le Ren, Maybel), Thom Gill (Bernice) on guitar, and Caylie Runciman (Boyhood, Maybel) all lend a hand to the album. Gielen helped Maybel soar from the background, but here, he steps out front and lets his voice ring clear.

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