Kevin Atwater – “ashes”

Photo Credit: Jonah Hale Photography

“ashes” is a stirring folk track from NYC-based artist Kevin Atwater, via their debut EP, retriever. A gentle rush of acoustics complement vulnerable lyrics to start: “I want to be cool, I want everyone to look at me the way they look at you.” The beginning lyrical disposition of adoration develops into more of a relationship as the track progresses, the vocals ascending in pitch with ghostly entrancement — “I could have your children, I could be important.” The pleading to “let me be your mountain,” plays with a melancholic yearning, the vocal work and acoustical pace converging for a stellar track. The quality continues throughout the rest of the EP, abundant with engagingly intimate folk songwriting.

Per Atwater, the EP “examines intimacy, desire, shame, and friendship through a queer lens,” with Sufjan Stevens and Phoebe Bridgers being notable influences.

Stream the retriever EP below:

This track and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of February 2022’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Folk.

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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