His songs feel familiar; they're old friends before the first play is done. They'd fit nicely on a mix alongside Paul Simon or the McCartney side of The Beatles. But the songs of Chadwick Stokes aren't throwbacks so much as timeless tunes — paintings with words and crafty melodies with changing keys and colors.
The first time I heard Stokes' solo music — he's also the singer for the bands Dispatch and State Radio — came at the top of this year with the release of The Horse Comanche, a brilliant collection of songs filled with simplicity and orchestrations reminiscent of Beatles producer George Martin. Stripped to their core, these tunes still feel strong, making this a great introduction to a talent who deserves a wider audience. -- BOB BOILEN
"Pine Needle Tea" 0:00
"Horse Comanche" 4:05
"I Want You Like A Seatbelt" 11:20
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Annie Bartholomew; photo by Morgan McCloy/NPR