Jeffrey Dallet – Abnormal Oddities

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/jeffrey-dallet/sets/abnormal-oddities-ep

2018 has produced some pretty good music across the spectrum so far, and as a music critic, I’ve been able to see the developing change in trends that we’re experiencing within pop culture as this decade winds down to a close and the 2020’s inch closer to their arrival. As we look forward to the future of music, a couple of things have become evident to me, the most dominating of which has got to be the burgeoning revival of bare bones folk music. In an age where technology and artificial intelligence is having more and more of an impact on the output of the industry, acoustic artists have never been more defiantly clinging to the foundations that yielded the start of their genre to begin with. Among the more exciting acts to be emerging in this new movement is Colorado-based singer/songwriter Jeffrey Dallet, whose new extended play Abnormal Oddities is generating a buzz that no one was expecting at this stage of Denver’s developing new music scene.

Playing a self-described unique hybrid of folk and rock music not to be confused with folk-rock as you’ve come to know the label, but instead “folk n’ roll,” an articulate way to describe his organic, original blend of indie aesthetics and traditional folk song structures. You can definitely recognize the Colorado accent in his sound, which is easily identifiable in its almost gothic interpretation of southwestern highway blues (“Blind Love in Vain” is a good example). Dallet is far from a roadhouse musician though. No, he’s a bit more complicated than that. I hear only a few things that direct me towards categorizing this guy is an alternative artist, but they’re important ones. His ethic is definitely a part of the DIY tradition. The way he characterizes his themes lyrically doesn’t fit into the Top 40 box, and there’s a genuinely earnest quality in his performance that, at the very least, sells me on any argument defending his poetic relevance. And yet “alternative singer/songwriter” still seems so limiting and narrow. Dallet is more than that. He’s colorful, if you will, and this is a black and white market he’s making a splash in. It’s nothing short of fascinating, really.

It’s hard to make roots music in a world that doesn’t much enjoy celebrating its roots anymore. True, while we’ve found a lot to examine about our shared history in recent years, I think the flip side of that is our collective ability to do something about the future through learning about our past, and celebrating the strides that we have made. It’s a difficult task to balance the past, the present and the future, but in Jeffrey Dallet’s Abnormal Oddities, it feels like we’re sampling from a dish that includes all three ingredients in the finished product, and it’s not only digestible, it’s downright delicious. I hope he follows up this extended play with a full-length album in the near future. He may not be anything like what you’ve come to expect in young singer/songwriters, but he’s certainly someone you need to hear.

Sebastian Cole