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The Season of Souls and Sounds: Steve Yanek's 'September' Dives Deep Into the Heart of Modern Folk

Steve_Yanek_Profile: "Singer-songwriter Steve Yanek, the force behind the compelling folk album 'September.'

'September': An Album That Oscillates Between Joy and Sorrow, Crafting a Compelling Narrative That Leaves No Emotion Untouched

The flow of folk never fails to spread a smile across a sorrowed face or chant a beat back through a broken heart. Though folk has its uses on the flip side of the emotional coin; songs that make you hold your breath, yearn for days gone by or simply wish you were somewhere else, somewhere you ought to be. Folk is a multifaceted beast, and though it comes in warm and soft, usually, packs a bite. The latest from Steve Yanek is a brilliant example of this. ‘September’ is an album that flips the coin, holds the coin, plays monty with the coin. If you want modern folk grown from the saplings of yesterday, then this is the place to find it.

The album begins in true folk form, with an all-rounder. You don’t want your folky handshake to be too full of sunshine or sopping wet with rain. You want it to show a wide array of seasonal shifts and ‘September’ does just that with, ‘Begin Again.’ It has some of The Boss in its texture and some subtleties of old in the verse. The whole track comes together around brilliant lyrical imagery to form a tone which will run through the rest of the album. Once that harmonica is pulsing through your ears, once the beat is thrumming, the guitars strumming, there is no escaping your newfound hunger for folk. The country stylings show up here, and then again more so in ‘I Could Use A Little Rain,’ creating an often-used bridge between folk and country. Once the light has shifted through that falling mist and created a glorious rainbow, our hearts are realigned and we look eagerly to the next track to have our hearts broken and our minds widened.

September_Cover_Art: "Cover art of Steve Yanek's new album 'September,' symbolizing the changing seasons and the spectrum of human emotions.

‘Summer Days’ shows the true passion of Steve Yanek, for me, a passion for pure folk at the core of it all, powered by a coal fire of country and modern pop stylings. The beat is bright, tight, and draws us in. Below, the bass rumbles just enough that you know it's there but never so much as to remove from that all-important melody in the mids. The vocals, of course, are where the true heart beats. You are connected to a person, to their emotion, and though their struggles are their own, they align so much with yours. Our eyes become their eyes, our mouths their mouths as we find ourselves singing along to the infectious chorus.

All at once the album spits out banger after banger, ‘Carousel’ with its eternal whimsey, ‘Come Back In,’ a twist and change, a solemn affair with a happier end, ‘Losing You,’ ripping our heartstrings a sunder and, finally, ‘September.’ The month that started it all, finishes the album and in doing so does not heal us, but teaches us. We feel our burdens, brought before us once again by the music, we see our mistakes and miss our follies. But we are taught about their importance, the weight that they have added to our character and to the lives we now lead. Folk music is for us, the folk. We are to take its sounds and wrap them about our lives. Steve Yanek’s mastery of the form has allowed him to do the wrapping for us, creating, in an album, a warming and emotionally strengthening experience. Wonderful, and full of colour.

  • Genre: Modern Folk, Country, Pop

  • Mood: Joyful, Sorrowful, Reflective

  • Location: General (No Specific Location)

  • Audience: Folk enthusiasts, Country music fans, Lovers of storytelling through music

  • Activity: Reflective Listening, Emotional Connection, Soul-Searching


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