Folk-rock singer-songwriter Dan Coyle has been busy making music since 2008, so if you’re unfamiliar with him it’s high time you got acquainted. You might like to start by lending an ear to his newest indie-label release, “The Undertow.”

While Coyle usually sings and performs solo, each song on this new 6-track EP was recorded twice: first, in unadorned acoustic arrangements and then with a full band accompaniment.

If acoustic is the vibe you most resonate to, you’re likely to prefer the spartan first three tracks of the new release beginning with the steady and melodic “Back Around.”  Coyle’s lyrics – like these lines – are thoughtful and poetic: “I hang a map up on the wall / For you to see all the ways to get to me / What’s left for us, to look back on / When all this life is done and gone, anyway?”

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Back Around

Coyle’s vocals seem sunnier and lighter on the full-band version of “Back Around,” with lovely violin touches adding great depth and punctuation. Delicate harmonies with singer and violinist Laura Senatore also uplift and enhance the second version. The plaintive “I Adore You” showcases his approach to music; unequivocally expressive, it’s as big-hearted a musical statement of love as you’re likely to find.

Coyle’s musical and songwriting styles are simple, straightforward and soothing, and he plies his craft with care. He’s also a fan of musician Josh Ritter, and certainly Ritter’s influence can be felt if only subtly, on songs like “Back Around” and “Something’s Changed.”

Something’s Changed

Sounding so very fine in both acoustic and full-band formats, “Something’s Changed” is the The Undertow’s standout track. Describing the struggle to make sense of an untrustworthy lover, “Something’s Changed” is somehow both dark and brooding, fun and sassy at the same time.

All-in-all a worthy collection. From Parachuting Buddha Records, “The Undertow” is Coyle’s sixth major album and was produced in New York.

Also commendable

Don’t miss Coyle’s  commanding “Fallen,” or his evocative “Fallen Snow,” both on his 2012 “Winter Folk” release. You also might want to check out “C’est La Vie” from Coyle’s 2011 “Prague to Paris” release, and “Listen Closely Now” from the 2009 “Random Thoughts and Incomplete Sentences.”

Upcoming concert dates

It would be great fun to see Coyle perform in the Pacific Northwest sometime. For now, you can catch him live June 21st at Providence, Rhode Island’s The Apartment. He’ll also be performing June 22 at New York City’s Googie’s Lounge, and August 16 at Black Eyed Susan in Hagerstown, Maryland.

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Where to find his music

Find Dan Coyle’s music on iTunes,  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/dan-coyle/id274588817 , on reverberation http://www.reverbnation.com/dancoyle/songs or on his website: http://www.dancoyle.com/ .

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Follow Cynthia on twitter @CynthiaOrlando

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