Readers of Liner Notes Lounge and This and That With Calandra are already familiar with Mr. Fresh, the mastermind behind the downtempo, ambient, chill Sunday Soundtrack Podcast at vibesnscribes.com. After sharing with you collaborative work he has done with AfterSix Productions and Cross Country Collective (C3), I finally have the opportunity to present his debut solo EP, Halcyon Sky, which became available for download on August 9, 2014. Mr. Fresh has chronicled the various stages of the project on Vibes and Scribes, a series of posts that walk us through the creative process. Though Halcyon Sky is his debut release, Mr. Fresh has been an accomplished musician and music producer for several years, and exhibits experienced levels of creativity, musicianship and production skills.
“New Dawn,” the first track, effectively establishes the tone for the rest of the release, placing the listener at a seaside lounge on the island of Ibiza. The final notes leave you in the mood and ready for the chillout experience to follow. Mr. Fresh’s guitar solo here, as well as those laced throughout the EP, cuts through the mellow tracks like a bonus pop of color. “Deja’s Theme” is a mellow, jazzy track that lulls you deeper into the journey of the EP.
“I really miss days like this…” are the spoken words that introduce you to “Days Like This,” an interlude you wish could take you further, but clearly leaves you feeling “…easy and free.” The most dramatic offering comes in the form of the title track, whose opening storm creates an image of rain ending as the dawn creeps in. Throughout the EP, Mr. Fresh appears to use ambient nature sounds to further create the chill atmosphere of the “Halcyon Sky” experience. His guitar skills are beautifully executed in this track, which ends like the calm after the storm.
“Deep” is a soulful, jazzy tune where Mr. Fresh collaborates with fellow musicians Todd Kelley and Trel Robinson. Together this trio forms Cross Country Collective (C3), and once again, these musicians master an effective creative collaboration. Again, nature sounds are the musical backdrop for the nicely grooved “Santhera,” a track I became familiar with in its early stages on Mr. Fresh’s Soundcloud page. “Sixth Sense” rounds out the EP, leaving the listener wanting more, perhaps the desired result for any artist.
Stay tuned for an Artist Conversation with Mr. Fresh later this month. In the meantime, check out Halcyon Sky HERE and enjoy the ride!