Back Burner: An Old Classic From A Young Newcomer

Mature. These days, it is not a term commonly used to describe someone of Ranford Almond’s age. However, with his debut EP, Back Burner, young Ranford displays a maturity in his songwriting that belies his young 21 years of age. Throughout this short journey of folksy tunes, abundant with lyrical depth and emotional songwriting, it can be easy for the listener to mistake these songs as those of a much more rugged and traveled character, grizzled by years of burden and heartbreak. Because of this and the raspy seemingly whiskey-soaked vocals of Almond, the comparisons to Bob Dylan are easy and obvious. And not entirely inaccurate. But, hey, if you are going to be compared to someone there are certainly worse names to be associated with.

 The first track “Last Time” starts with a dreamy mix of guitar and keyboard that gives off an airy yet eerie vibe. The lyrics then come in and take no time in showcasing the maturity of Ranford’s writing. Lines like “[the] new day finally strips off late last night’s disguise” and “[the] streets been empty since the company shut down” inform the listener of Ranford’s lyrical style and maturity. Next comes the title track “Back Burner,” which is the album’s leading candidate for most infectious ear worm. The lyrical mastery remains on display as it does throughout the EP and this time it comes with a chorus that will no doubt be repeated in your head many times after listening. New Orleans is the only track that incorporates a full band, and it does so to great effect. While Julian Sizemore’s atmospheric keyboard and Justin Able’s wonderful bass can be heard all over the EP, here the additions of Wes Allen (Viva la Muerte) and Kasey Horton (The Wright Ave) on drums and viola, respectively, are utilized well.  Next is “Dog Days” and it brings the listener back to Ranford’s smooth acoustic guitar and lyrical abilities. In fact, the last two tracks, “Dog Days” and “It’s All Up to You,” conjure up memories of the best of James Taylor with a little extra electric guitar thrown in on the finale. All in all, Back Burner is an impressive debut for young Ranford Almond and I, for one, cannot wait to see more from him in the future.

Back Burner is available now on major streaming platforms, listen now on Spotify.