Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Music: Cameron Floyd's "Momentum" EP

Charlotte area singer-songwriter Cameron Floyd celebrates the release of his new EP "Momentum" Friday at Evening Muse.

The acoustic pop songs on "Momentum" have broad appeal because of Floyd's ability to touch on several styles. With Nashville production, the opening track "Fix This" could easily be transformed for country radio. While the duet "Rather Be" with Ana Torres has a bluesier edge, but flirts with the sort of AM pop or soft rock that was a fixture of soundtracks in the `70s and `80s. It lands somewhere between ZZ Ward and a love scene from "Urban Cowboy," although Floyd's R&B tone and phrasing give it a more modern edge.

There's a bit of nostalgia in the playing and arrangements that put "Momentum" on the adult contemporary rock path. The repeated guitar phrase on "Thought of You" hints at reggae or a smoky blues band, but the chorus crescendos into a more contemporary rock track which swells into the echoing bridge's alt-rock feel. It's an interesting web and speaks of Floyd's talent as a writer and arranger that he can hit on subtle style changes and different eras seamlessly within one track.

The three songs that form the nucleus of the record all have that quality, which seems to be Floyd's signature. And in the overpopulated world of singer-songwriters there's little that's as important as carving out your own unique niche. You can hear how in other hands his songs could have drifted into more predictable territory, but listening to "Momentum" there's a sense of the work and care that went into these five tracks.

"Mystery (I've Given In)" rides the blurry line between acoustic rock and R&B that often spells "hit" for breakthrough pop singles. There's bluesy country twang to the guitar at the tail end of the chorus, but the restrained delivery and slow build is more reminiscent of early John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and even Maroon 5's earlier ballads. The lyrics tell a familiar story, but one that begs for multiple listens - a sort of love-the-one-your-with in the face of being ignored by your significant other on the road. "So I dance, I drink and I shout. With a girl I know nothing about" sings Floyd and the listener wants to know more.

Tickets to Floyd's show at the Muse are $10-$12. It starts at 8 p.m. with opening act Charles Walker. You can check out the track "Fix This" on Floyd's Bandcamp site now. The full EP will be available at the show, via online retailers, and added to the Bandcamp site on July 28th.

(Photo Courtesy of @cameronfloydmusic Instagram)