Singer-songwriter Jason Garriotte aka Chords of Truth, keeps on improving with every release, and his latest album “Shadows Sessions” is easily his best, purest release to date. A man, a guitar and his voice, that’s all it takes to drive the momentum of the 10 songs that make up the recording. His influences Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Johnny Cash, among others, are all very subtly thrown into the mix, but make no mistake, this is essentially a Chords of Truth album, through and through. Here his sound is purely acoustic art, while his songwriting has a quiet genius to it. His spiritually infused lyrics and melodies drag you into the music and make you feel like you were walking in a field laced with rose petals and incense.
Special words are needed to describe Chords of Truth and his music. ‘Alluring’ could be one, and as could ‘transcendent’, but neither alone are perfect. Musically, Chords of Truth is onto something inspiringly idiosyncratic and instantaneously infectious. He is making music that demands not only to be heard but also to be heeded and held dear.
While making great strides in arrangements, accessibility and production, in his previous works, those recordings don’t share the same sense of understated intimacy associated with “Shadows Sessions”. Here Chords of Truth morphs once again, and emerges with a bare-boned aesthetic that puts his lyrics and storytelling even more at the forefront of his songs than they already are.
The most immediately striking element is how much more confidence Chords of Truth exudes all over “Shadows Sessions”. The tone of his voice and the core of his messages have evolved into amassed resonant depth.
Chords of Truth’s swooning croon hangs heavy with precious honesty on “Valley of Shadows”, “Darkness and Light”, and “Authenticity” quickly establishing the atmosphere for the rest of the album. From the smoldering, “Truth and Lies” to the picked shimmer of “Pattern”, and the melodic rumble of “Moments”, Chords of Truth spirits through an impressive range of tones, held cohesive by the acoustic timbre and texture of each song.
Earthy warmth all wrapped up in a soaring glow emanates from “The Power To Be Alive”. The expansiveness of Chords of Truth’s voice also extends to more intangible aspects of the record as well, which is flooded with a thrilling sense of wonder. The entire album aches with ephemeral beauty and the hope of its transcendent grace. Just as inspiring is Chords of Truth’s ongoing investment in the efficacy of faith, which is sprinkled across the entire recording.
That Chords of Truth is an arresting singer-songwriter who finds rarified form through simply strummed guitar chords, swells of ecstatic quietude, and melodies that take on the earthly tint of his voice, is all evident on the closing tracks, “Listen”, “Freedom is…” and “What Life is About”. Like most of Chords of Truth work, these well-crafted tunes will not only stand the test of time, but will be true for years to come. He is a masterful singer-songwriter.