Jacob Donham's latest release, Suncastles, is a heartfelt invitation to a soul-warming musical gathering. Each track feels like an earnest inclusion in a celebration that beckons you to join in. "Katydid Radio" kicks off the festivities with a delightful fusion of country and bluegrass, adorned with handclaps, acoustic guitar, and bass.
Yet, it's the fiddle work that truly steals the show, lifting the song to new heights. Donham's vocals complement the arrangement impeccably. "Before" offers not just entertainment but an educational journey. Its rhythmic lyrics stick in your mind, accompanied by instruments like the distant harmonica, adding depth to the experience.
The precision of horns and the commanding snare roll on "Sand Castles" are a testament to Donham's confidence. While reminiscent of The Beatles' "Penny Lane" in some aspects, this track carves its own distinct path. The whimsical breakdown stands out as a memorable moment. In "Cowboys," simplicity takes the reins, delivering a straightforward indie rock vibe akin to bands from Brooklyn.
This seamless continuation from earlier tracks maintains the album's cohesive flow. "Gold Backpack" hints at Eastern influences, while "Bigfoot" charmingly explores the tale of the legendary creature. "Right On Time" emerges as a sincere standout, surprising with its emotional depth, adding another layer of richness to the album.
Closing with "Loons," Donham showcases raw intimacy, concluding the album on a beautifully stripped-back note. This album resonated deeply with me. Each track exudes strength, and Donham's ability to create a sense of inclusivity within the music is truly remarkable.