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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Blue Rain'
Artist - Cary Heuchert

For those not in the know, Vancouver based singer-songwriter Cary Heuchert is one of the best artists-you've-never-heard-of that I myself have finally heard of!

Coming complete with an extensive progressive rock history, like many musicologists, Cary is also a gifted recording artist in his own right.

On what has turned out to be an incredible debut (although he did release Nocturna And Other Stories beforehand), Blue Rain, Cary reaches into his assortment of musical past experiences and loves and brings forth an album that persons the best elements of both rock and pop. Not stopping there, he also lovingly includes elements of folk-rock, psych-pop, and even clearly improvisational moments too.

The self-produced debut sees Cary playing all I the instruments himself, with each song featuring different instrumentations, with multi-tracked songs aplenty, all played entirely in his very own studio. A long process, for sure, but one that provides us, the listener, the (new) fan with a musical experience that's as honest, as raw, as heartfelt as quite like anything I've heard in the past decade.

From start to finish, Blue Rain is a completist's album of music. For example, on the title track alone, Cary plays acoustic 12-string, something he's always obviously loved the sound of, and a Roland guitar synthesizer for harmony. Oh, and by the sound if it, a fretless bass.

“Every Morning Comes” is a quietly passive cut, whilst one of my favorite tracks, “The Girl Of Dreams” incorporates a delightful '60s vibe along with an ethnic backbeat. Quite clearly inspired by groups such as Pink Floyd, Spirit, Traffic, Family and others, next on Cary's debut album is “Rainfall,” which keeps to the overall theme of the album, and that's backed by both the keyboard-infused “Winterlude” and the acoustic/electric guitar work on “Not Just Another Day.”

Stand out track “Maoershan” is up next and wow, what a cut it truly is. “Maoershan,” which is actually the Mandarin Chinese name for a mountain in Heilongjiang province, a place that Cary knows all too well, heavily leans into the mellotron, thusly giving it a sound that becomes unique to the overall recording. “Lost In Your Dream” has a defiant Moody Blues vibe to it, whereas the optimism of the folk-oriented "Someday” is beyond delightful.

Rounding out the album is, funnily enough, another optimistic track in “Ode To The Sun", where both the Mellotron brass and organ provide a stunning contrast to one another.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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