Canadian musician Afie Jurvanen, going by the stage name Bahamas, makes the sort of breezy music his moniker suggests. His second album, Barchords, is a lot like a vacation to the Bahamas; there are some highlights of the trip, but for the most part the memories are a pleasant blur.
The standouts include opener “Lost In The Light,” which is a simple, but wonderfully honest song, as well as the more lighthearted “Okay Alright I’m Alive.” “Overjoyed” takes a full minute to really get started, but once it builds up it is a beautiful, if melancholic, song that proves there really is “joy in being sad.” The melancholic vibe of this album adds a little something extra to the laid-back surf rock that would be expected of an artist on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records label, and Jurvanen even brings an element of pop to such tracks as “Caught Me Thinkin’.”
Jurvanen is at his best when he is most vulnerable, like on “Be My Witness,” where he sings, “Be my witness, be my bride, I’m on the edge of something that I can’t hide.” He certainly isn’t hiding any emotions in these tracks, but he’s also not on the edge of any musical breakthroughs. Still, Barchords provides a perfect soundtrack to mellow daydreams of tropical locales.
-Tess O’Connor, host of Tunes with Tess, Tuesdays 2-3pm on WGTB