Words by Lauren Gill

For someone that used to spend his time writing hip-hop rhymes, Colyn Cameron, the singer/songwriter behind the Pacific-Northwest’s Wake Owl, comes off as anything but a former rapper on his debut EP, Wild Country. Cameron lends his silky smooth voice to five acoustic tracks, and the result is a refreshing mix of songs that would have undoubtedly made it onto The O.C. soundtrack had it run for a few more seasons.

The EP kicks off with the captivating title track, ‘Wild Country’, a tune with the potential to be perfectly cliché, but doesn’t actually end up that way. If ‘pretty’ is what he was going for as he seemingly effortlessly croons, “Oh, we go, we don’t know the way”, Cameron certainly achieved it on this EP. He even brings in the strings for the climax of the anthem.

The singer/songwriter consistently delivers throughout the rest of the EP, with the punchy ‘You’ll Never Go’ and powerful ‘Gold’. To close it all out, he paints a portrait that put me right by the ocean’s edge on the appropriately named, ‘Seaside’.

All of Wild Country comes off as the perfect playlist for these bleak winter days, but I could also see it having that Grouplove summer vibe. Speaking of similarities, I can’t help but compare Cameron and Ben Gibbard. Both master the acoustic guitar, the pure voice, and the heartbreaking, but still somehow triumphant lyrics. The likeness is a hard one to deny.

I may be speaking prematurely, but if his debut LP is in the same vein of Wild Country, its not hard to imagine Wake Owl one day joining acoustic singer/songwriter greats. But, for now, let’s just be thankful that he chose singing over rapping.

Wake Owl
“Wild Country EP”
© January 29th, 2013



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