Jeremy Poland

Vents Magazine

The second album from Jeremy Poland pairs him with producer/songwriter Lantz Dale, the man who steered production duties for Poland’s debut Southbound Heart, and eschewing electric guitar pop rock in favor of an acoustic approach. The seven songs included on Timeless Soul rock, however, with every bit as much conviction as anything on Poland’s debut even if they fail to occupy the same space on the sonic register and sound full of effortless melodies. Poland’s vocals dominate most of the songwriting, but effectively work Dale’s vocals into the mix throughout the release. The pop song aspects of the album are quite strong with big choruses pushing a lot of the material even further into the stratosphere. Poland and Dale’s vastly different musical backgrounds come together quite nicely, one informing the other, and result in one of the year’s true under the radar gems.

“All Yours Now” begins on a slightly elegiac note before shifting into a brighter, more uptempo chorus. The opener is an excellent illustration of how Timeless Soul brings together the singer/songwriter qualities of these performers with their inclinations towards memorable pop melodies. The second track, “In The Light”, is a much more hushed affair for the bulk of its duration, but there is a compelling second half when the arrangement and instrumentation open up in an impressive way that will linger in listener’s memories long after the final notes have faded away. “All Over Again” has a clipped, noteworthy groove the instrumentation ably matches and the tempo gives the vocals a great foundation to move across. It has an almost reggae-ish quality without ever giving itself over completely to that style. The aforementioned vocals seem to have a delightful time singing along with this track and the playfulness never wavers.

“I’m a Wreck” is, arguably, the best song on Timeless Soul. The lyrics have a forthright quality that the other songs lack with short, practically abbreviated lines expressing the singer’s situation with unusual clarity. The chorus is quite a contrast with the lyrics; the gorgeously precise vocal harmonies certainly don’t suggest someone in such distress but, interpreted in a different way, it’s a masterful stroke. “Sunday Afternoon” has a much more pensive mood than the other songs, but the final quarter of the track finds Poland and Dale shifting things into a higher, more uptempo gear. It’s one of the best lyrics on the album as well. The title song closes the release and it competes with the earlier “I’m a Wreck” in terms of quality. This is a wildly inventive musical piece that doesn’t rely a single motif to get itself over with listeners and has deeper melodic complexity that some of Timeless Soul’s more straightforward tunes. The vocals have a much different tenor than they do elsewhere in this collection and experience a wider range of emotion. Whether this proves to be a musical vision either man continues pursuing, Timeless Soul is a worthy entry to both artists burgeoning careers and, at very least, will cause them to approach any new direction they may take informed by this experience.

Skope Magazine

The success of Jeremy Poland’s first album Southbound Heart didn’t leave him feeling hidebound to pursue the same mold on his follow-up. Timeless Soul finds him teaming with Lantz Dale for a rousing sophomore success. Dale, Poland’s producer on the debut Southbound Heart, brings a distinctly different personal background and musical pedigree to the project that stands in interesting juxtaposition to Poland’s own story and they’ve adopted an acoustic approach for Timeless Soul’s seven songs remarkably managing to bring strains from their respective musical DNA’s into play. Their shared chemistry has been further developed by nearly 150 live performances the duo made in 2016 and the songs on this release show off that chemistry every step of the way. Their talents dovetail into one another’s without ever sounding like disparate musical visions and that makes Timeless Soul one of the early surprise successes of the 2017 musical year.

Poland might have shifted to primarily acoustic textures for this release, but he never entirely abandons the pop/rock style that made Southbound Heart so successful. Timeless Soul’s opening track “All Yours Now” has an undeniable catchy side to accompany its strong musicianship and guitar playing. The value of song construction is well illustrated too. “All Yours Now” never meanders or works in useless, arbitrary bits. “In The Light” is rendered with almost impossible delicacy well past the half way point before climaxing with a carefully nuanced crescendo and fantastic vocal harmonies. If there’s a pop edge to this track, it’s practically art pop with how it achieves its effects through repetition and accumulation rather than showing all of its nuance at once. “I’m a Wreck” is an amazing tune. The lyrics are bitterly unsentimental and make no excuses, but the musical backing is as crystalline and carefully wrought as anywhere else on Timeless Soul. It makes quite an effect to hear such sweet vocal harmonies singing about what a wreck the singer is. “Where Did It Go?” would make one hell of a rock song, but it makes an equally striding and powerful song on acoustic guitars. There’s definitely a much sharper suggestion of electrified acoustic guitars here than elsewhere on Timeless Soul, but it doesn’t bring the songwriting down any. Instead, it suggests more of the song’s rock and roll character while never giving up any of the opposing end of the sonic spectrum.

There’s a more melancholy mood pervading “Sunday Afternoon” that fits the lyric’s themes of longing and emptiness. It crescendos with the expected big chorus, but Poland and Lantz tweak the noses of their listeners a bit with some clever drumming variations that spice up the inevitable. The final song and title cut “Timeless Soul” is one of the most deeply felt songs on this release. Unlike the preceding two songs, “Timeless Soul” doesn’t go in for the typical big moments, but takes a more exploratory route into the song instead. Poland’s singing has a passionate edge here, as well, missing from many of the earlier performances. It’s a great closer to an impressive effort and certainly sets the stage for a longer future collaboration.

8 out of 10 stars

Indie Music Review

Timeless Soul, a release from the team of Jeremy Poland and Lantz Dale, marks the first time the team responsible for Southbound Heart, Poland’s debut release, have brought their performing and songwriter talents together on the same release.

Dale, Poland’s producer for that aforementioned debut, brings a more formally inclined edge to the musical proceedings that give shape to the deep oceans of passion powering Poland’s artistic vision. The results of this collaboration, however, are not so simple we can merely boil them down to a juxtaposition of rawness versus technique.

The songwriting goes further than that with real peaks and valleys enhanced by note-perfect vocal harmonies and seamless transitions from one passage into the next. Timeless Soul is full of timeless qualities and subjects that few listeners won’t be able to relate to. Moreover, it’s presented in a vivid, visceral fashion that engages listeners from the outset.

All Yours Now carries itself with a lot of bounce and strong guitar work, even graced with a bit of flair during the instrumental breaks, but it has a pure pop heart reflected in its catchy chorus. Poland and Dale show a real penchant for making the most of those moments in songs and the opener is one of the best examples of that penchant in full bloom.

They strip things back some during In the Light and aim less for the big chorus, but the song unexpectedly expands in its second half and hits glittering melodic heights thanks to the guitar playing. It’s this moment in the track that elevates it among the best on Timeless Soul.

All Over Again has some great pop characteristics like the opener, but there’s real substance to this side of the duo’s songwriting character instead of just trying to invoke glossy surfaces without depth.

The album’s most dramatic track I’m a Wreck might take some listeners aback with its blunt stance, but it certainly wraps up the lyrics’ brief message with considerable musical sweetness. The vocal harmonies, especially, are well recorded and perfectly match up.

Where Did It Go? has another of Timeless Soul’s best choruses and a particularly bright sound in the acoustic guitar playing that keeps this track throwing off sparks from the outset. The vocal harmonies, once again, exert an enormous influence over the final result and help carry the song higher than it might otherwise be capable of climbing.

The finale, Timeless Soul, begins with a delicate musical melody created by piano and guitar before hushed vocals come in. The song gradually expands as it continues, fleshing out the melody with some tasteful guitar flourishes.

Poland and Dale give the release’s title cut some appropriately significant lyrics that never sound too overwrought or earnest – the songwriting throughout Timeless Soul’s seven songs communicates with listeners in a forthright, accessible fashion that’s never self indulgent.

With this new release, Jeremy Poland and Lantz Dale prove that Southbound Heart is only a facet of what their combined creative energies can accomplish together.

9 out of 10 stars

Southbound Heart Review

Album Title: Southbound Heart 

Review by: Heath Andrews 

 Jeremy Poland’s debut album, Southbound Heart is about as straight forward a power-pop album as you can get.  It’s not unnecessarily deep, it has few frills, and the lyrics are primarily about love and fun.  Poland’s direct approach to his music makes for an honest, accessible sound that throws itself back to bands like The Raspberries, Badfinger, or The Cars, without the keyboards.  It’s not a groundbreaking album by any means, but it does what it does very well and in enjoyable fashion. 

 Poland had a lot of different musical inspirations as he was growing up.  Some of them show up in his music through differing guitar tones and musical arrangements.  The first track, “Let’s Ride” is a pretty straight forward pop-rocker.  It opens with a flourish of electric guitar and kicking drums.  At a brisk pace it goes through its verses sporting stinging guitar lines and a well sung vocal.  This is much the same formula that’s employed by the following track, “You Belong With Me.”  Changing up the sound however are more crunching, heavier guitar chords.  Everything else is a solid continuation of how the album started. 

 “Antarctica” throws a curve ball to the listener, relying more on picked, spanish guitar inspired notes.  The drums are more subdued here, allowing Poland’s voice to occupy more space within the mix.  Making it even stronger is the addition of harmony vocals throughout.  The song could easily thrive without them but having them be featured so prominently is a nice touch, and one that fits exceedingly well alongside the bouncy melody. 

 The album tones itself down even further for “Better Than It’s Ever Been.”  This piece takes the form of an acoustic singer-songwriter track, gently played and well sung.  Despite its departure from the general sound of the album, it still maintains the strong lyrical and vocal elements that are found throughout; so the cohesiveness of the record is never lost.  That softer side is momentarily explored in “Don’t You Ever Leave My Side” but it quickly transitions to a harder sound with a forceful drum track and bluesy guitar licks.  Even with this, there’s still a sweet, soft, side to the song that Poland is able to convey. 

 One of the album’s more compelling rockers is “Man On Fire,” a piece inspired by a sermon that Poland’s father delivered.  As one would expect, the lyrics derived from this are potent.  The potency is reinforced by the raw energy that courses through the song.  Along with the again, stellar drum track are a series of snarling guitar licks and a very strong lead performance.  Together they combine to make for a tremendous sounding rocker. 

“Channel Surfin” brings back the kind of spanish guitar sound and sparser arrangement.  Thanks to the softer tones, both the bass guitar and Poland’s voice come through more prominently in the mix.  This is good for two very different reasons.  The first is that it provides a refreshing change of pace in the dynamic of the album. The other is that it allows for Poland’s talents as a vocalist to come through. 

 Southbound Heart ends on a high note courtesy of the fantastic, “Falling From Grace.”  More so than any other track here, there is a mature kind of songwriting that shows itself in how the song builds from where it begins.  The drum track for instance begins with just a simple repeated thump of the bass drum.  At about halfway through the piece it opens up further and the full kit is used to deliver a series of fantastic fills.  While this is going on with the rhythm section, the electric guitar begins to roar, culminating in one of the few true solos on the album; it’s a fantastic rocking end to a strong collection of songs. 

 If Southbound Heart has one fault it’s that some of the songs sound a bit too similar.  Not every number sounds as varied as “Man on Fire” or “Antarctica,” which doesn’t make them bad in anyway, just less distinct.  The extent to which this affects your listening experience is entirely based upon how much you like Jeremy Poland’s sound; if you enjoy it, then you’ll be able to hear plenty of it. Regardless, it’s a rock solid album that is invigoratingly brazen in the simple thrills that it delivers.  Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create an enjoyable ride, as Southbound Heart so ably proves. 

 Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5) 

Review by: Heath Andrews