Week in Pop: Deep Cuts, Fatt Father, PANGS

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James Roehl

Introducing LA actor/musician James Roehl.
Introducing LA actor/musician James Roehl.

As a tribute to his father, James Roehl titled his album Dad’s Hat as a moving & heartfelt homage. Lessons that linger long after the loss of a beloved mentor/parent permeate the entire album. Stoicism is challenged on the reflective “Loosen Up”, humors & memories that arise on the gentle strumming “Now I’m Laughing”, tackling the disconnects of misdirected sentiments, misconceptions & more on “Misconnected”. Wisdom prevails on “Good Thing I Didn’t Do That” presenting evidence of being raised proper, allowing things to percolate & boil on “Too Hot”, the perspective shifting “All Angles”, to helpful & not so helpful matters on “Doesn’t Help Me”, leaving with the melancholia pangs (& pains) of life & lives that move forward with “Belief”.

James shared with us an exclusive introductory preface to his moving new album:

This album is a collection of songs that I recorded at my home over the last couple years. My high school bud Joe Burge mixed and mastered the whole thing at his home studio. My other friend from high school Patrick Taylor plays bass and drums on “Loosen Up”, other than that it’s been very much a labor of love, something really personal that I’ve put together slowly in my apartment. Thematically it has a lot to do with my father passing away last summer. Writing and recording these songs has been a way to process the grief. A lot of the songs are about feeling conflicted or ambivalent and trying to overcome apathy and anxiety. In the midst of all the stress and turmoil in the world it’s an amazing feeling when you can rewrite the false narrative of hopelessness and try to just take care of yourself. That’s what a lot of the songs are about, embracing the contradictions that are everywhere and accepting it all as just a part of life’s rich tapestry.