Published May 23, 2018Since he released his first LP under the moniker Snailhouse, Michael Feuerstack has always sounded wise beyond his age. Eighteen years and 11 albums into his solo career, the Ottawa musician has caught up to his wisdom, as Natural Weather feels inquisitive, gentle and accepting in his approach to songwriting and lyrics.
Recorded at his home, Natural Weather contains a certain intimacy buried deep inside these 12 songs. In fact, Feuerstack seems to submit to the gentle pace and simple arrangements of tracks like the slight violin duet of "Love is All Around" and the whispered fingerpicker of "Heavenly Bells." It's not until six songs in that Michael adds any flair to the album, as "Birds of Prey" plays off of a John Bonham-style drum stomp and layers of harmony, courtesy of Montreal duo Sin and Swoon, while the chugging "Don't Make Me Say It" is the album's busiest (and honestly, weakest) track.
"Outskirts" pulls a plainly struck guitar rhythm like the best Leonard Cohen numbers, while "Babies In Love" sounds gorgeous in its sonic clarity. On the appropriately titled Natural Weather, Michael Feuerstack has put out a collection of Zen ballads that feels breezy, natural and duly wise for his age. (Forward Music Group)