Ty Haruta – Balconies (Nakamoto Music Group)
If you take a peek at Ty Haruta’s Facebook page, under ‘Biography’ there’s a short, neat and tidy blurb, which is simultaneously deep and almost throwaway. It made me smile, as does his debut seven-song release, entitled “Balconies”.
The Los Angeles based singer-songwriter has created a collection of folk-rock and pop songs that are melodically strong, and he’s blessed with a voice that does his words justice. His style is reminiscent of artists like Jack Johnson and John Mayer, so there’s no shortage of pop hooks to get under the skin, and although the overall presentation feels relaxed and easy, the list of backing vocalists and musicians, and the various instruments they employ, is impressively long.
He begins with the almost title track “Balcony”. The phrasing is unusual, which demands attention straight away, and the rhythm is Latin, or something that originated on a Caribbean island – whatever its source, it’s sunny and warm. It sets up “Love Always”, a bubbly, upbeat number with plenty of feelgood attitude. With luck and a horribly expensive radio plugger, it’s got the potential to be a huge hit. “Wasted” would make an interesting follow-up single, and “Talking Green” is just as instant and immediate, with added bongos.