John Vincent III – Songs For The Canyon
John Vincent III’s 2019 self-released debut was an exercise in unpretentious Americana. On his latest LP, Songs For The Canyon, the native Texan’s sound has evolved a bit with indie pop influences and comes off slightly more polished, but it only serves to enhance his voice and highlight the lyrics.
Surprisingly the album almost never happened. In 2021, feeling a bit dejected and reflecting on the state of society at that time, he thought about quitting music as a career. Spending a year on the road with his partner and dog, he continued to write music but solely as an emotional release and salve for his mental health. The songs eventually found their way to Mark Williams, the president of Concord Music Group, who offered to put out his next record. This collection, though predictably intimate given the headspace Vincent was in when he wrote them, is as powerful as it is delicate.
The album opens on “Highway Woman,” a beautiful slow tempo pop song built around the piano. By the time he gets to “Dandelion,” just three songs in, it’s clear this album is one that’s destined to bring him to a much larger audience. Musically the song is as complex as it is enjoyable. It has a strong 1970s Laurel Canyon vibe, but without coming out as simply nostalgia pandering. Elsewhere, “Bluebird Singing,” is just as strong, an autobiographical song about relocating to Los Angeles.
Lyrically Songs For The Canyon is mix of self-reflection and guarded optimism, while the music veers from slow (“When She Leaves,” “Juniper And Yellow”) to mid-tempo (“Dandelion,” “That’s Just The Way It Is, Babe”) tracks. The result is a great record that Vincent fans will keep coming back to for years. It also stands as a solid testament to not giving up.
Find his music here on his website: https://www.johnvincentiii.com/#music-section