Wake Up Captain

When I first heard Kevin Tihista, George Harrison had only just passed on and it seemed that his mantle had been transferred to the talented newcomer. Now, it seems almost like a knee-jerk reaction, for whilst Tihista’s music certainly has the emotional resonance that Harrison’s best work possessed, Tihista walks a totally different path from the quiet Beatle as is evident from his latest offering.

Wake Up Captain is subtle and modest, enveloped in chamber pop dynamics that belies the sheer lyrical potency of Tihista’s confessional art. Apart from the obvious Beatlesque nods, there are discernible elements of the Beach Boys (circa Wild Honey/Friends), early 70s-era Todd Rundgren, Harry Nilsson & Randy Newman.

Truly, any of these finely crafted tracks (e.g. the delicate “Real Life,” the haunting “Ride,” the tragic “Family Curse,” the tender “Good Wings,” the hopeful “This Is An Offering” etc) would not be out of place on any memorable album of that defining epoch.

With the aid of Epicycle (viz. Ellis and Tom Clark), Tihista has produced a minor classic that hearkens to a time where the singer-songwriter was revered & songs of pain and reflection were lauded not avoided. A+