Photo by Allen Passalaqua
On first listen, the languorous melody and deft chord manuevers of Scott Bartenhagen’s “Beacon” suggest Andrew Bird — but as Greg Katz so wisely puts it, Mr. Bird hasn’t written a song this good since 2005. (“Simple X,” perhaps, excepted.) “Beacons” is utterly rapturous, a steaming plate of savory acoustic guitars spiced liberally with piano touches and bittersweet words: “Would you wait for me always?” he sings, sighing, “I know you would,” before the music spills into a Nick Drake reverie that suggests otherwise. This song’s just a taste — pencil in room on your best-of lists for the main course.
Scott Bartenhagen – “Beacons”: mp3
(Hear more Bartenhagen on Bandcamp; buy the Portraits compilation)