Rocky Votolato is another former kinda-punk rock singer (Waxwing, Lying on Loot) who discovered that he also had an aptitude for dreamier, more sentimental folk rock over the past ten years. Â Television of Saints is a fan-funded album via Kickstarter, and is a bit more bare-bones than some of his other releases. Â The songs and arrangements are simpler, leaning mostly on Votolato’s vocals and guitar. Â The subject matter is, for the most part, less heavy than his previous releases, which have touched frequently on his personal struggles with depression and mental illness. Â The album gives us a happier, more satisfied Votolato, which shows in the easy, folky groove that the songs all seem to settle into. Â Most of the songs sound similar and are missing the angry undercurrent that’s run through other releases and his live show. Â That’s not a negative; it’s just a different sound that he’s going for, this time around. Â Some of the fullest songs are the ones with an emphasis on a full band sound. Â With this album being entirely crowd-funded, it’s no surprise that it’s not as full as it could have been. Â I would have been interested to see what he could have done with an even bigger budget, although I’m always a fan of the stripped-back approach. Â It’s a comfortable album, over all, not taking many risks, but where it succeeds is in the heartfelt lyrics and performance from Votolato.
Rocky Votolato stops by Schubas tomorrow night. Â The show starts at 9:00 pm and tickets are $15.