Formerly of the Alabama cult band Wild Sweet Orange, Preston Lovinggood is no stranger to music. Though he stayed relatively under the radar in the couple years that followed his former band’s breakup, he returned with new material last February with his solo debut, Sun Songs, which was followed by Shadow Songs, his sophomore disc that came out earlier this year.

The album is beautifully written and structured. “Shipwrecked” is a standout on Shadow Songs, having a calm, swaying rhythm to it that lives up to its nautical theme. “Fear Not” is also notable, serving as the final track, and has a strong sense of nostalgia for classic indie rock. As the LP goes on, however, some of the songs begin to blend together, especially as the middle of the record approaches. That isn’t to say it gets tedious or boring, as Lovinggood surprises the listener by adding little twists and turns in unexpected places; “Overactor,” for example, concludes with a cheery, almost cartoonish melody that is completely set apart from the rest of the song.

Though nearly half of Shadow Songs is made up of the same tracks that are found on its predecessor, Lovinggood puts a new spin on “Little Gods,” “Further” and “Naturals,” deviating from the lo-fi vibe he tried to create with his first full-length. The artist keeps it simple, which results in Shadow Songs having a minimalistic charm to it. His lyrics are raw and showcase his vulnerability, which fans of his previous musical endeavors will appreciate, though this ushers in a new era for his career that is all his own.

In A Word: Charismatic

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