Song Sparrow by Chad Crouch
Twenty years after his singer-songwriter debut comes an unlikely release from Portland, Oregon musician Chad Crouch: a short album of piano solos. For two decades Crouch helmed the HUSH Records label, helping to launch the careers of The Decemberists, Peter Broderick, Loch Lomond, Laura Gibson, and many others. While handling the day-to-day operations of HUSH, Crouch was also churning out his own instrumental music under the pseudonym “Podington Bear”. 2017 was a watershed year for Crouch. His father died, he upended his work life, and he finally pulled the plug on the moniker that grew increasingly irrelevant. (“Podington Bear” was a reference to podcasting, the original distribution method for his music.) In many ways 2018 represents a complete restart for Crouch, so getting back to the essence of songwriting seemed both appropriate and essential. “Birds of Oaks Bottom: Piano Solos” is recommended for fans of Dustin O’Halloran, Goldmund, Peter Broderick, and Nils Frahm.