Sean Rowe’s debut album on Anti Records is aptly titled Magic. A naturalist, Rowe connects his rich, unnerving baritone to moments of childhood innocence in his storytelling lyrics; as a child, he muses, you could fall “like a floating leaf,” and the earth would “look up at you and smile.” Rowe’s deep, magical voice is nothing if not wise and experienced. His style has been referenced to Tom Waits and Van Morrison, his influences as wide as whatever was playing in his childhood home. Magic is Sean Rowe’s homage to what he believes in, to what he finds magical in the world. The themes of love, innocence, sex and nature prevail in its heartfelt, crafted songs. On the ambient, deeply resonant closer “The Long Haul”, Rowe’s voice crackles with life. “And I never hit the spring so hard/ a newborn song on an old guitar/ and I know what it means to be alive,” he sings. And like the most evocative works of art, Magic begs the question of its listener: What makes you feel alive? Answer: Sean Rowe’s performance.
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