Album of the Month: James Waudby – On the Ballast Miles

Lukas Lehner

Opinions Editor

Following his career as lead singer of Horse Guard Parade and guitarist with Salako, and touring with US 90s indie rock band Pavement, James Waudby went solo.

His newly released 60s-UK-folk inspired debut solo album On the Ballast Miles started the new year on the right foot. All 10 tracks were written in his hometown of Hull in the UK, providing a feeling of the comfort of a local pub as the night rolls out. Alongside his unique style of acoustic fingerpicking he sings softly about the construction of one’s identity and its inevitable and beautiful connection to the land. Two instrumental tracks bring moments of rest and let the guitar take the forefront, flipping between major and minor keys, between folk and soft blues. At first listen he sounds like a mix of Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and Neil Young, all artists he used to listen to as a child. Although he currently only has 800 monthly listeners on Spotify, his producer Luke Barwell gives him the sound of a well-rounded and experienced artist, making him heavily underappreciated.

Other notable music released in January were Portrait of a Dog by the jazzy-chill Montreal based artist Jonah Yano and Não Me Espere Na Estação by Brazilian pop artist Lô Borges.

Some music to look out for in February are Canadian pop punk artist Andy Shauf’s new album Norm on the 10th and and indie-folk singer-songwriter Billie Marten’s new album Nothing but Mine on the 6th.