Chadwick Stokes: The Horse Comanche

chadwickChadwick Stokes
The Horse Comanche
(Ruff Shod Records)

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Twenty years into his career, Chadwick Stokes, primarily known for his work with college rock legends Dispatch and his politically-minded State Radio project, finally seems to be pulling it all together. The Horse Comanche, Stokes ‘second full-length solo album, seems like a proper summary of his work to-date. There are bits of folk rock, reggae, and all manner of indie-leaning pop strewn throughout the 10 songs, truly showing off the eclecticism that makes his catalog so exciting. He slips back into his Dispatch rap style for “Our Lives Our Time,” a song calling out societal injustice. On the title track, Stokes embraces Beatles-esque chamber pop for the album’s centerpiece.

This eclecticism is aided by utilizing three producers with strong musical personalities. Stokes worked with producer Brian Deck, Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart collaborator Noah Georgeson, and Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam to capture the varied sonic palette used here. It may make The Horse Comanche a disjointed listen at first, but if you approach the set like a greatest hits album, a celebration of everything Chadwick Stokes has accomplished so far, the album feels joyous and complete.

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About Scott Interrante

Scott Interrante currently studies Musicology at CUNY Hunter College where he focuses on issues of gender in pop music. He also writes for PopMatters, The Absolute, and Dear Song In My Head. Scott is an avid Taylor Swift fan and is currently re-watching all of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.
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