Moon Station House Band – David Vandervelde

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David Vandervelde is a motherfucking revelation: too scruffy-chic to call glam but loaded enough to look good on any stage. The first single, “Jacket”, is a natural epic driven by his primal call, “You might’ve got a mind like a fortune teller, but you never know what lovin’s for”. The pairing of a soft male voice with dirty blues riff does sound like T. Rex-era Marc Bolan, but Vandervelde’s natural acoustic style also follows an American folk-rock legacy inherited from Bob Dylan and Neil Young. This guy is not just a twenty-two year old imitator, but a songwriter with a variety of influences woven together into a shaggy 70’s flavored flannel tapestry. There are laggards on the album, like “Corduroy Blues” which trips over itself, sounding like a slowed and sedated Elton John cover (string arranger David Campbell has in fact worked with John as well as Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson, and Beck). Admittedly, Vandervelde can go a little to far into his groovy candyland sometimes, but when he gets the balance right, it’s an intoxicating blend that I fall for hook, line, and sinker. There’s not a hint of pretension or sarcasm in his voice on “Nothin’ No” as he relishes “getting high out on the front porch / singing songs about the weekend”. Like a modern Pied Piper or a Willy Wonka, his song carries an irresistible summons to the darkly tinged pleasures of true charisma that most of us only imagine from time to time.