by Philip Moss
Chiming guitars and reflective lyrics have long been a winning combination. Throw in some highly delectable melodies, and you’re close to encapsulating Boy Scouts’ new LP, Free Company. But all three haven’t always been the case for the Oakland songwriter, and this – Taylor Vick’s third full length effort – takes big strides forward from the humble, lo-fi-isms of 2017’s Hobby Limit.
Get Well Soon and In Ya Too are both instantly hummable ear worms, and hugely benefit from the work of producer, Stephen Steinbrink – the first person outside a small group of friends to ever appear on Vick’s work – who brings a real shimmer to the LP. While on Momentary Love, Vick’s voice is more than a little Adrianne Lenker-alike. One of Free Company’s more downbeat moments is Throw Away Love, which reflects upon the ideals of perfect requited love. Having been releasing music on Bandcamp for ten years, this standout moment feels like a culmination of Vick’s career work to date: it is heartfelt, considered and bursting with reflective, emotional experience – displaying a songwriter that has truly begun to hone her craft.
Free Company certainly falls into a similar bracket to other great records released this year – think Florist’s Emily Alone, or indeed Big Thief’s U.F.O.F – and, like them, this is a rewarding record that is well worthy of your time.
Secret Meeting score: 75