Kingsway

Vancouver-based singer/songwriter RC Joseph’s first full-length release under the moniker Kingsway , The Typical or Universal Human Event, is not recommended for listeners who can’t appreciate an extremely slow-paced record. Like his nu-folk peers (including the likes of Jack Johnson and Cat Power), Joseph is content to fill the quiet spaces of his album’s generous running time with meandering instrumentation

However, while Cat Power and Johnson are intent on making their interludes sonically interesting, Joseph keeps his compositions mind-numbingly minimalist, usually restricting himself to the use of a sparse, singular guitar or piano. The quaint lo-fi production on The Typical or Universal Human Event is cute for the first few tracks, but once listeners figure out it’s the only musical trick Joseph has to show us, we’re in for some trouble.

Or, would be in for some trouble, if that really were all Joseph brought to the table, but it happens he’s an excellent songwriter. Joseph has written an album that, although extremely flawed (not to mention painfully boring) musically, is an utter treat to listen to.

All 10 non-narrative folk treatises on The Typical or Universal Human Event jump from Joseph’s mouth in a dense stream of consciousness, and although the delivery is often muted and/or marblemouthed, lyrics like those of “Up On Blocks,” “that Lincoln Continental ain’t gonna drive/you mental anymore/it’s rusting completely/put your trust in me/coming to smash your nation/when the debts are clean” can’t do anything but shine through.

Definitely check out Kingsway if you’re feeling adventurous and are willing to wade through some awful musical choices in order to hear one of the best songwriters to debut in recent memory.

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