Roddan is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, WA, who released debut album, “MUSIC HOUSE” consisting of 11 original tracks recorded in Austin, TX, with SXSW award-winning producer, Rick Del Castillo, Austin A-list musicians, and final mastering at Yes Master Studios in Nashville. Roddan is clearly a talented artist, and you can’t help but grow to love his smoothly crafted Americana melodies, his tuneful singing voice, and the directness and confidence of his lyrics. Here on “MUSIC HOUSE”, Roddan never ventures far beyond the boundaries of alt-country and alt-folk music, even though in some songs he becomes darker, more brooding and more intense.
The first thing that comes to mind on listening to the album is that Roddan is not some young pretender to the scene, but a genuinely sincere singer through and through. However, you don’t even need to know who guests on the album to demonstrate this – just listen to the songs. The opening track, “Cross To Bear”, is exactly what it says on the tin.
It succeeds in introducing Roddan’s own distinctive brand of lyrical confidence and good-time musical attitude. It does really show how comfortable this artist is in the studio, and with his own songs. The track also forges some great guitar work – both acoustic and electric – something that is constantly repeated throughout the album.
The album is remarkably consistent without being ‘samey’, and a listen from beginning to end takes one through the entire alt country, folk and rock spectrum, from rollicking rock n roll (‘Crossroad Dues’ FT. Rick Del Castillo) to heartfelt ballads (‘Empty Miles’, Far Away’ and ‘Rain’s Coming Down’), to stirring duets (‘Bitter Pill’ and ‘Let Love Be Found’ Featuring Patricia Vonne). What stands out overwhelmingly is Roddan’s sense of melody, and the love he has for his craft in general.
Here, it is best seen on the frankly outstanding ‘I Can’t See’, which manages to be both heartfelt and straightforward without falling into cliché – it’s a thoughtful mid-tempo song. It embodies all that is good about Roddan – his carefree attitude and lyrical honesty is captured without sacrificing musical quality.
Roddan has convincing music credentials and the arrangements on the album suit the songs perfectly, as simple and effective acoustic guitars blend organically with essential gorgeous string counter-melodies. Except for a couple of tracks Roddan’s voice is pushed to the front of the mix, evidencing his abilities as a singer and as a craftsman of a great melody.
More than anything, Roddan’s debut album is, instead of an honest and emotional record. It shows a huge emotional maturity for Roddan, as a songwriter, singer and a musician. “MUSIC HOUSE” without a doubt strikes a balance between musicianship and fantastic songs. It’s a sure bet that this combination of the troubadour and his ace band, as well as keen production, are the real deal when it comes to modern alt-country.