Later this summer, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez will release his first solo effort, Why Is Bear Billowing?.
Opener “A Magic” is a thesis statement for the album – the acoustic guitar is relaxed and breezy and Alvarez serves up quirky and unexpected lyrics with his satiny voice. Though the album is fairly consistent (and consistently good), there are a few standouts and breakaways.
“All With Golden Locks” features fable-like lyrics, while the next track goes out a little farther on the limb with lines like “boy are you a sight for my pinecone eyes.” Said track (“Pinecone Eyes”) also has some lovely and slightly off-kilter picking at the end that is the musical equivalent of throwing your arms out and spinning til you fall in a sun-drenched field.
“Love for Longer” gets a little deeper in sound, but the timbre of “The Letter B” transports listeners to a bongo-filled beat coffeehouse. Another destination on Alvarez’s musical trip is the Spanish-tinged guitar and punchy claps of “Mostly A Friend”.
A magical romp, Why Is Bear Billowing? manages to be fantastic without becoming precious or silly. For fans of Mason Jennings or Fionn Regan, this is the perfect soundtrack for soaking up the summer sun.