MP3: Alec Gross – “Zero Sum”

MP3: Alec Gross – “Zero Sum”

On his superb “Zero Sum”, Alec Gross’ acoustics jangle with a Celtic flair, leading with the jovial perkiness admired by everyone from Van Morrison to Led Zeppelin. Like these past greats, Gross doesn’t stay precisely true to the Celtic folk stylistic tradition in his songwriting, which in his case shows more tendencies of Appalachian folk. But the guitars’ natural tones resonate with a certain Celtic instinctive. Maybe it’s Gross’ passionate vocals, or the the sharp guitar plucks that tend to exaggerate the almost medieval tone, but it seems like a not-so-subtle influence nonetheless. On the lyrical side – “My car ain’t built for these roads, my heart ain’t made for this,” – it resembles more contemporary western folk traditions. Gross’ phenomenal vocals, full of range and emotion, sit somewhere in the middle — between nasally emotive folk heroes like Van Morrison and recent acts like The Deep Dark Woods, which benefit from similar influences. It’s a clash of the past and present, but one done so cohesively and majestically that it will keep listeners coming back for more. Check out another effort below:


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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