CURRENTLY LISTENING: Rumination Ruining by Pawl Jefferson

Filled with reflection in every swirling guitar line, Jeff Stultz (AKA Pawl Jefferson’s) latest EP Rumination Ruining offers brightness and promise, especially during this cold, dismal winter. Take the¬†opening self-titled track. It comes on strong with a powerful rhythm you can’t help but latch onto and is followed by a ridiculously catchy chorus. Addictive melodies are by now Stultz’s trademark. From what I’ve heard from former band Limbs and side engineering projects for bands like Au Revoir Simone & Sufjan Stevens, Stultz has a fine-tuned ear. He just knows what fits. It’s a talent most visible on the soothing shuffle of “Inner Melodies” where in-depth string instrumentation and lush vocals envelop the listener. Underneath all this beauty are these playful jack-in-the-box tones that bounce, hinting at haunting nostalgia. Definitely one of my favorites on this record, “Inner Melodies” brings me back to those lifesaving tracks of my youth, not unlike those once put out by the likes of Elliott Smith and Jeremy Enigk. Something needs to be said, too, about these carefully crafted vocal lines. Nearly every track is layered with beautiful choruses yet it stems from one artist just whittling away. Rumination Ruining is a work of solitary devotion in need of a broader audience to share its brilliance. Let’s add to it: listen for yourself below and buy here.