Maine songwriter Jason Spooner somehow manages to be both fun and substantial. Sounding like a young Paul Simon, Spooner won an Emerging Artist spot at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and established his brand of acoustic Americana by performing songs from an earlier album, The Flame You Follow, live on Sirius XM. On Sea Monster, his third release, he’s both a serious storyteller and a wistful poet, carefully selecting the right guitar, acoustic or electric, for each song.
The result is an energetic set with vocals, drums, strings and guitars combining in cool, danceable beats, contrasting neatly with the introspective lyrics. In “Half A Mind,” over a bluesy rock groove, he ponders how to avoid getting swept off his feet in the fast lane. “Conspiracy Here” sums up the fears of our time, from kidnapped children to political misinformation. He considers a troubled relationship that may never bear fruit in “Seed In The Ground,” and makes a fun, funky cover of Barenaked Ladies’ “Wishing Well” into something all his own. Each song runs around four minutes—a bit long for mainstream radio—but that’s an extra minute of pleasure for Spooner’s many AAA fans.