Alternative folk and indie artist Jacob Rountree presents us with a deep enigmatic work that transports us to another world in his latest LP As I See It. Rountree hails from Spokane, Washington and is based out of Bozeman, Montana. As I SeeI It is Rountree’s labour of love of three years. Rountree’s intuitive fingerpicking guitar style creates a dreamy album. The record contains somber ballads, folk-rock songs, and campfire songs of celebration. Rountree dons several hats on this one with bass, banjo, drums, percussion and initial mix and production. Despite that it’s a collaborative effort including several phenomenal musicians like drummer Alex Platt, Marcus Bendon, Cole Thorne among others.
Set A’ Fire starts the album with some percussive acoustic guitar rapture. Listening to the track feels like roaming in the wood. Rountree’s reverb-soaked vocals are intoxicating. We can hear some pretty harmonics laced guitar lines with the tint of a dark vibe. The song ends in some hypnotic vocal chants. The track Neon begins with some enigmatic sounding licks. Unexpectedly, we hear some fuzzy guitars enter treating us to a groovy folk rock track. We even hear a nice breakdown towards the end. Definitions is a lyrical treat with lines like “One with society, prove your worth with a college degree”. Bird sounds are intelligently incorporated in the outro.
Vertigo is a kaleidoscopic track with clean jangly toned guitars. We hear some innovative wind sounds as the tempo of the song catches up. The Fighter is a fierce track that builds up to a fine inspiring chorus. Halcyon is a conversation with a lover at night. Leslie Fox Humphreys’s enchanting cellos on this track are an example of the sonic versatiltiy on the record. Guitarist Alex Speed plays some cheeky guitar licks on Walk a Mile, with its playful call and response vocal harmonies. Lost in You is an upbeat song about passionate fiery love. We can see Rountree’s pink Floyd influence with wailing melodic lines on this one. Keelan Evins takes up bass duties on this track. After the jubilation of these tracks, the album concludes with the somber songs Common Tongue and Only You.
There is infinite wisdom in As I See It‘s raw vocals and lyrics. Leah Dobby’s additional vocals on Set A’ Fire, Vertigo, The Fighter, and Halcyon complements these. The vocals on the record give a strong sense of enigma and mystery. Rountree’s deep philosophical lyrics are poetry filled with deep introspection. They could be released as a separate booklet in their own right. The album is a stunningly beautiful production with a great final mix and master by Luke Scheeler. A true audiophile’s dream. Rountree’s unique style is reminiscent of both Bon Iver and Bob Dylan. As I See It is a record that will fill your head with the smells of petrichor and pines.