Only Son: Searchlight
When former members of an acclaimed band strike out on their own, it can be difficult to climb out from beneath the cloud of precedent and expectation. However, with Only Son, ex-Moldy Peaches guitarist Jack Dishel has taken a jump away from anti-folk and settled firmly in the realm of indie rock. Searchlight, his sophomore, solo release, displays an artist comfortable with experimentation while remaining doggedly loyal to the concept of melody. The result is an album that is as infectious as it is dynamic, enjoyable to listen to over and over without getting old.
One of the best qualities of Searchlight is that no two songs are alike. The music is all guitar-based rock to a degree, but the influences and tones cast a wide net. For instance, “Magic,” the lead single and first track, has shades of The New Pornographers, while the energetic, brief “Stamp Your Name on It” has shades of R.E.M. at their most frenetic. “It’s a Boy” provides a haunting glimpse into society’s obsession with perfection, and “Falling Behind in the Game” is the record’s most sprawling moment at barely over four minutes long. Keen ears will recognize contributions from Regina Spektor as well as members of The Strokes and Of Montreal. Only Son is, undoubtedly, Dishel’s opportunity to step into the spotlight.