Aussie artist Bryan Estepa sounds like he’s grown up on a healthy dose of The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo if “By the Window” is a benchmark. Country-rock is his bread and butter, which nails the opener and the John Mellencamp-meets-Paul Westerberg roots rock flavored “Your Best Night” perfectly. Estepa also has that summery, California pop in his blood on “Western Tale”, sounding like Weezer-lite or The Rembrandts before it takes a soulful, doo-wop dip. Perhaps the first real heart-tugging nugget is the softer, Ryan Adams-ish “Come Around” that Estepa shines on. The same can be said for “Sunshine” that has equal parts Beatles and Travis. Not everything he touches turns to gold however, especially on the rather mundane, sullen “Cards & A.M. Radio”. He makes up for it with the sweet mid-tempo, highbrow pop tune “Open Letter” and also with the ambling toe-tapper “Falling Through”.
// Notes from the Road
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