It's refreshing to see that the pop music market has rediscovered the beauty of folk, with bands like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers topping charts. After the stadium crescendos and anthemic composition of Mumford and the Avetts, however, a good dose of simple Americana goes a long way. On Here Comes Hindsight, Montana songwriter Jacob Robert Stephens gets back to the basics of a well-worn genre, mixing graceful melodies and familiar chord changes with rural, working-class themes and characters. This album is a perfect listen for long nights in candlelit cabins, and you can almost hear the flames flicker and the hardwood floor creak in the very fabric of Stephens' songs.
Runaway women flit in and out of a majority of the tunes here, which Stephens sings with a breathless John Prine drawl, lending an earthy feel to tunes like the pensive "Dust Falls," and blending beautifully with Andrea Harsell's voice on the duet "Dance." Harsell is one of many guests that bring depth to this album. Chicken pickin' electric guitar, pedal steel swells and Stephens' own mandolin prowess round out these compositions tastefully. It's a no-frills, organic mixture that satisfies the whole way through, with no commercial additives necessary.