Many Seasons is Bay Area singer-songwriter Kacey Johansing’s debut solo album. It takes the listener more through years than seasons, with a jazzy folk feel that sounds like something out of another classier time. It’s the kind of album that everyone can enjoy — something you could play for a mixed crowd and no one would complain.

 

Johansing’s voice is powerful but distinctive with a smooth sultry tone, best when stretched out on a lingering note. On the title track, “Many Seasons,” Johansing’s vocals are dreamy and the guitar spices up a piano melody that’s drenched with longing. “Angel Island” is another highlight, boasting a slow groovy feel reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, while reflecting on memories and the loss of friends.

However, the most memorable songs on the album have a retro-pop feel. Johansing’s voice would be at home in a smoky 1960s lounge. This sort of thing has been popular in the mainstream as of late, and Johansing could be a nice indie contender for those like Adele and Duffy who have tackled this style. “Photographs And “Letters” is the best example of this on the album. It’s an infectious upbeat pop throwback, an interesting contrast to its subject matter of breakups. “Spider Song” has a smoky lounge feel; it’s a creeping black widow anthem that oozes sexiness. The listener is lured in by Johansing’s sweet voice, only to discover her words may be deadly: “I have only one desire/ I would love nothing more/ Than to watch you sink.” The Wurlitzer and strings add a funeral home vibe to the song, rounding it out to make it the most unforgettable song on the album.

Listen to “Spider Song”

Some songs are not as notable as these, though. “Oh, Brother” is a cute track about Johansing’s relationship with her brother, but its loud repetitive whistling is distracting, taking it close to irritating. The slower scaled down songs on the album, like “Sleepwalk” and “Poison Oak Hymnal,” are more forgettable. Some artists are really good at making a slow, simple song stick with you, and while these tracks are pretty, they don’t leave a lasting impression.

Overall, this is a solid album, but Johansing’s style seems a little unsure at times. She would be best suited to dive further into the retro-pop genre. Her vocals suit that style the best, and her delivery feels more effortless in it. More than any others, those songs stand out and will bring the listener back for more.

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