There is something of a Ryan Adams vibe floating in the background of Brave, and that has to be a good thing right? Not the brash electric rock era nor the overtly melancholiac mood swings he subjected himself to but that first album brilliance that introduced him to the world. If you are going to be compared to anyone in the acoustic singer-songwriter oeuvre, then that is not a bad comparison to have. And it is deserved as McCall writes well turned acoustic songs which drive on simple beats, have just enough intricacy in the guitar work and which focuses on sparing and emotive lyrics.
There is a wonderful blend of urban folk cool and more a windswept Americana going on, it is slick and understated but also confident and well measured. There is a wave of indie troubadours in their wide hats and newly acquired beards mumbling pseudo world experience that they haven’t earned yet who could learn an important lesson from Henry McCall and it is this. All the fashion statements and social media likes in the world count for nothing if you haven’t got the songs and on the basis of Brave, it is a problem that Henry McCall isn’t going to have to worry about.