Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 5, 2016
Daniel and Jenna Watters relocated locally from Nashville last year, putting together a formidable new ninepiece outfit for their debut LP. The title track leads off with an early high point on a smooth, horn-lined groove glistening behind Jenna's soulfully cosmic vocals before skipping to Daniel's lead on the classic Sixties pop riff of "Reality." "Bad Dream" drips a smoky torch turn with an assist from Erik Hokkanen's violin, rivaled by the duet lope of "Soul Remains," but "Ebb & Flow" drifts too much into Seventies soft soul and "DNA" spins oddly down a Nineties alternative alley. Inconsistency stems from the couple's conflicting songwriting impulses; she more personal and swaying to his more abstract and throwback rock guitar pull ("Only the Lonely" vs. "Johnny Appleseed," respectively). The light, Turtles-esque piano pop bounce of "Strangest of Places" proves their talents can meld, and their neo-roots soul shines throughout, suggesting the Watters will develop a more coherent sound beyond the varying trajectories of an overall promising debut.