William Harries Graham
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., April 12, 2019
Although William Harries Graham released Foreign Fields in 2015 with teen titan outfit the Painted Redstarts, Jakes feels like his proper debut. Stretching in new directions, it signals the development of his own distinct style. Textures emerge as much as songs, slowly unfolding ambient guitar lines that float in and out of his softly reverbed vocals and Abra Moore's other-worldly backing wails. Drifting darkly through the driving "Forget" and chiming "Ghosts," the local scion (and Chronicle contributor) offers an exploration of mood, letting his guitar lead as the tunes bloom with a gorgeous, gauzy, Explosions in the Sky build and frequently extending over four minutes in patient swells ("Silence," "Alone"). Graham showcases exceptional feel for tones and immense talent to build on, but only a few moments – like "Victoria" or "Seattle" – strike as fully realized.