Laith – Lightning
Laith’s debut, Lightning, is a musical travelogue of the U.S. set to an appealing mix of folk and Americana. LA is name checked in the song titles. Texas – his home state – gets two separate tiles, and he sings about the interstates that take him across the Southwest, into the Mountains (he moved to Colorado as a kid), eventually landing in the Pacific Northwest, his current home turf. Geography certainly plays into the themes of this record, but so do relationships.
The music, especially on tracks like “Ghost,” “Texas Birds” and “Found the Time” are unrushed, mellow, and soothingly tranquil. But more than just another folkie raised on Cosmic Country records lazily strumming an acoustic, on a song like “79,” the tune kicks off with a pre-programmed synthetic beat before Laith (no last name needed) and his band layer in the funk with organ, making for an addcitive barroom jam and a remarkable stand out track on a record already brimming with great songs. The same can be said for “No One’s Ever Going to Put You Away,” a beautiful song that’s sung/spoken over piano that sounds complex despite its instrumental simplicity. He also has a knack for taking very personal lyrics, like on “Song for Levon,” and making the sentiment sound relatable.
The album ends on the title track, another sweet, mellow song that caps the album on a sentimental, almost vulnerable moment, especially as Laith’s vocals stretch to hit the higher notes.
His voice throughout the record is a bit quirky, a little nasally, but like many of the greats (Willie, Petty, Dylan) it just adds to his charm.