Northern California-based songwriter Greg Roensch is attracting a lot of attention this September, and it isn’t difficult to understand why when you listen to his eponymous EP, which was released this past August 19th as a novice’s introduction to his acclaimed new album What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky. In the record’s four distinct songs, Roensch takes concepts that were vaguely teased in Spiral Notebook Project and manipulates them into full-bodied compositions that are as stinging as they are sweet. Whether it’s the mischievous sway of “Grasshopper” or the unapologetically brooding violin moan of “Celluloid Dream,” there’s something for most everyone to connect with in this well-crafted effort from a proven master of his medium.

The way that these tracks were mixed allows for us to hear all of the muted details within the music, and to say that there’s a lot for us to explore in each song would be an absurdly crude understatement. “Grasshopper” grinds with an understated groove that Roensch and an unnamed companion chip away at with colorful vocal harmonies that are as sharp as a samurai sword. “Don’t Forget to Pack Your Hand Grenade” struts to an arrogant beat that a humble bassline will cushion with a soft, textured hum that is as haunting as anything we’ll be hearing out of the vocal track will be. Though the foundation of “Tell It Like It Is” is riddled with an aching jazz percussion, it’s as dominated by vintage folk-pop framework as “Celluloid Dream” is. Regardless of the tempo of the music or tone of the narrative, Roensch translates like the talented troubadour he is here whilst dispensing some of the most charming verses to debut out of his scene this season.

BANDCAMP: https://gregroensch.bandcamp.com/album/greg-roensch-ep

If what we hear on Greg Roensch is what we can expect to find out of this artist’s forthcoming work yet to be released, I think it would be safe to say that he’s in for a great deal of success as 2019 slowly transitions into 2020. In short, it didn’t take more than a cursory listen for me to get into the vibes of What’s in the Meaning of That Cloud in the Sky, and if you haven’t already taken the time out to hear its complete tracklist, this EP is a great sneak peek at the exact strain of magic it was conceived with.

Sebastian Cole