Music

Sean McConnell — ‘Undone’

Photo: Becky Fluke

Sean McConnell — Undone
Label: Rounder Records

There is something downright life-affirming about Sean McConnell’s highly anticipated new release, Undone. It is a re-recording of his self-titled album from last summer, but it is so much more than that. Maybe it’s the ideas conveyed, perhaps it’s the emotion precisely expressed, or maybe it’s the almost unfamiliar-in-2017-humanity that the production of the acoustic album itself achieves. Whatever the answer to the refreshing mystery, the proper response can only be one of gratitude. Let’s be thankful that there is a record label that cares enough to support an artist as personal and affecting as Sean McConnell, and to create such a careful, fragile, ultimately stronger-than-steel collection of songs. It restores one’s faith in the music industry.

These are highly affecting songs, delivered with heartfelt vocals and spare instrumental support. It is a triumph of economy; every note essential, not a breath wasted. The nearly solo album also features one duet: “Nothing on You,” written and recorded live in studio with the equally talented Lori McKenna. Until her appearance on the album, you don’t fully realize the entrancing effect of Sean McConnell’s mesmerizing vocals. He draws you in with an observant story song and sustains an alarming sense of privacy with a gripping delivery. Honesty and truth and the perfect acoustic accompaniment can do that.

Thankfully.

Essential Downloads: “Babylon,” “Best We’ve Ever Been,” “Holy Days,” “Nothing On You.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

Photo: Becky Fluke

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