Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Premiere: John Vournakis’ “Closet”

November 12, 2015

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It’s difficult to tell just from listening to “Closet” that John VournakisThe Devil You Know is a debut solo album and a departure from his other bands (New Junk City, Gold-Bears). Even though he’s recorded EPs and singles over the years, “Closet” shows off unusual skills and confidence in delivering on the conventions of a genre without feeling the least bit trite.

Vournakis’ clear, passionate voice is perfectly at home in the acoustic folk/country environment, and the loping miss-you break-up tune displays a remarkable songwriting confidence.The treatment of the electric guitar and drums are particularly striking, as Vournakis creates a great amount of ethos and just the right amount of space for the vocals to take center stage without dominating the track. Those vocal melodies soar and simmer appropriately, evoking that feeling we all know of looking back at the one that got away. Vournakis understands the way this genre works, and that makes “Closet” sound like the confident, assured work of a much more mature singer/songwriter. Check it out below.

The Devil You Know is out 11/20 on Muckman Records and Bear Kids Recordings. Vournakis will play an album release show in Atlanta at The Earl on 11/19, so hit that up if you’re in the ATL.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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