David Courtenay


Unravel, the newest album by Santa Barbaran David Courtenay, features soft acoustic strumming, benign narratives, and relentless optimism. It’s easy to appreciate Courtenay’s sun-baked, feet-in-the-sand grooves. In the steady rolling jam “About Time,” he sings in quasi-suave couplets, “It’s been a long time I’ve been kept in the dark / now a fire’s been ignited ‘cause you set off the spark.” “Under My Hood,” a ballad of comical errors, shows off his self-effacing humor with a story about helping a woman with car trouble. The lyrics progress with the double-entendre-using woman manipulating Courtenay in ever-escalating means, eventually leaving him helplessly tied to her bedposts. The album channels Michael Franti with campy reggae-adjacent tunes like “Hear Your Cry” and “Arms of Redemption” and sweeping flamenco folk in “Love Calls Out.” Courtenay, who leads a double life as a yoga instructor, proves that he finds harmonic comfort in blending slide guitar and bongo drums into one saccharine batch of positive vibes.

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