In 2019, singer and songwriter Todd Warner Moore, released Starry Sounds, a beautiful album in its simplicity, which channels all the talent of this artist.
Having moved to Lamma Island in Hong Kong, Todd has a really diverse musical background. He is able to represent peculiar sound visions, and to masterfully blur the boundaries between different genres.
The ten songs on this album consist of simple but significant elements which, thanks to well-structured mixes, are perfect examples of the philosophy “less is more”, and with which it is easy to connect, right from the first listening.
The title track is a moving acoustic ballad, colored by a ’70s touch, set in an atmosphere with and alternative country vibe. The song recreates a suggestive intimacy, thanks also to the delicate touch of Todd’s vocal performance.
With the second track Ebb and Flow, we are totally charmed by a harmoniously balanced quintet. A romantic viola blends sinuously with quietly delicate percussion and a rhythmic guitar, along with Todd’ singing, which is complemented by an airy female voice.
It’s All Happening Today genuinely showcases the album’s country-folk soul . In this song Todd’s vocal performance is harmoniously intertwined with the lead guitar, offering us a fine performance and sincere phrasing.
Starting Again brings a captivating and engaging rhythm to the album, thanks to a colorful and fresh mix. Artfully built on a rhythm guitar, the arrangement is enhanced by snapping percussion and a clarinet that provides an interesting groove. A fresh and catchy song, one of those that never get boring.
See So Cleary is a pleasant and smooth song, providing a more intimate sound. Todd’s darker vocal register binds with enveloping arpeggios, while drums and a pleasant female background vocal bring in some sort of light, until the end of the song.
Lapis Largo is an instrumental ballad in a 3/4 tempo with a classic folk soul. In this song the strings play melodic lines that follow one another in continuous compelling cycles. This is such an expressive song, with a texture that showcases all the distinctive signatures of a talented artist like Todd.
Meet in the Middle continues in the folk genre, enriching it with country elements with a modern and fresh sound. Engaging rhythms of guitars and banjos blend perfectly with Todd’s vocal performance, which once again is intelligible, interesting and significant.
Coffee Conversations conveys a more introspective atmosphere, with insightful sounds and lyrics. While the rhythmic guitars make the song move forward, Todd’s voice duets with a string ensemble, led by a cello, which play flowing, flourishing background melodies. This is a personal and distinctive performance, to be discovered one listening after the other.
All the Lives gives us a guitar with a warm and round touch, which is well balanced against the intimate, close and personal vocal performance. The minimal arrangement—voice and guitar only—slowly fades out as we approach the end of the song, leaving us in a breathless suspension.
The last track, Slate, is a sort of journey within a journey. This is the longest composition on this record, from which emerges all the eclecticism and variety of Todd’s songwriting. It’s a truly balanced and complete mix of instruments and vocal parts, which unite until they interpenetrate, to then sustain and emphasize each other. A valuable, warm and enveloping production that clearly transmits its message.
All the songs on this album have a specific character, each shining through in a different way, thanks to top quality songwriting. A refined and harmonious aesthetic taste links the elements within each composition, as well as the tracks one another, in a refined and organic way.
Each track is also enriched by the quality performances of talented musicians, whose artistic contribution can be fully appreciated. This is an album to put in your collection, to be listened to again and again through the years, no doubt about it.
Find out more about Todd Warner Moore, and listen to Starry Sounds, available on his website [ here ] and on all main streaming platforms.