Mason Summit’s third album, 2016’s ‘Gunpowder Tracks’ was the dictionary definition of surprising. An album chock full of great songs and retro influences, the singer-songwriter showed off an ability to turn his hand to many styles with equal charm, ranging from pop, country, folk and jazz, resulting in one of the year’s most appealing recordings.
2016 has been an interesting year. We’ve heard hundreds of albums and we’ve heard lots of good ones, but in comparison to the previous couple of years there has been a paucity of great ones. Nevertheless, there’s always gold to be mined and here are Real Gone’s top ten albums of the year.
[As always, in the interest of fairness, the choices are limited to those actually reviewed on the website]
In 2016, Real Gone celebrated it’s seventh full year online. This year also marked the sixth year we’ve given away new music at the end of the year. Now a staple of the RG catalogue, the free album-length download is looked forward to by a core of our supporters and in turn helps bring new readers and listeners to our site.
2016 hasn’t been quite as notable for new music compared with a couple of years previously, but that’s not to say it hasn’t thrown up some great stuff. On the first of Real Gone’s free compilations for 2016, we take a look at a broad selection of tunes from punk, country, singer-songwriter fare and more… [a selection of metal oriented artists can be found over here]. If you’ve been paying attention to our website over the past twelve months, a few of these names will be familiar. If not, it’s time to say hello to new music. If you find a couple of things to love, our work here is done!
Written across five continents, Zach Ashton’s fifth album – as it’s title very much suggests – is somewhat of a musical travelogue. Introspective, mellow and possessing an old spirit, these songs come across like the ultimate late night, almost smoky listen, with the Mexican-born singer-songwriter recounting experiences with the people and places that inspired him and seemingly on occasion left him slightly angsty. It’s one of those records that creeps into the subconscious slowly – an affair where the music eventually leaves an indelible mark, where once it just felt like pleasant listening material. Like the best of the quiet Josh Rouse or the less obtuse Ryan Adams, these songs come with a timeless feel.
For a man of just nineteen years of age at the time of recording this third album, Mason Summit’s songwriting ability stretches way beyond his years. On these twelve songs he applies his craft to retro sounds aplenty, on songs that span AM radio pop, country and occasional jazziness. In doing so, he comes up with a winning formula that should appeal to those who like their music to have a familiar echo of the past. Of all the superb qualities that ‘Gunpowder Tracks’ possesses, however, it is the over-riding sense of warmth that wins out and really makes the album so inviting.