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Keith Alan Mitchell is a singer-songwriter previously fronting bands from Ohio and California, and currently residing in San Francisco. On his debut solo album, This Clumsy World, Mitchell presents the image of an inviting yet somewhat reclusive folk singer. The album is warm and gently consistent in its approach like Mitchell’s voice, influenced by the softer side of artists like Tom Petty and The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg. It’s an album aided by various session musicians from the area, but it feels like a largely intimate experience, as if you’re witness to a private home concert with Mitchell.
In a way, This Clumsy World is a concept album. No, there’s not a continuing story to it, but the themes in it are largely similar across the entire album. Most, if not all of the songs here deal with escapism; running away and disappearing from everything, everything trouble in life. Most specifically, “The Feud” deals with the breakup of a previous band, and more obviously, “You Just Disappear” deals with the almost magical and transmogrifying effect of doing just what the title suggests. It’s almost a musical equivalent of “Walden;” refreshing and warm tones washing over you as it gives you a sense of pastoral relief.
Obviously, Mitchell is expressing emotions and events that have happened in his own life, but it’s never overbearing or too heavy. In fact, there’s almost an air of resigned acceptance to it, as if it’s a cathartic step in moving on. This Clumsy World is a fine first album and not a hard one to fall in love with. It will be released June 20th.
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