Doug Tuttle: It Calls On Me (2016)

The advances in technology that make it so easy for independent musicians to record and distribute high-quality music are a mixed blessing.  It feels like there is an endless supply of really good stuff out there, more than I can actually digest; between various music blogs and surfing around Bandcamp, I continually stumble across music I like, making it hard for something truly great to stand out.  But Doug Tuttle is one of the guys I randomly stumbled across -- can't even remember how -- and definitely had one of those holy shit, this is great moments.

It Calls On Me is the second of several solo albums Tuttle has released, and it's dynamite, a blend of harmonized folk-rock and retro-psychedelic pop.  You've got the obvious 60s influences -- the Byrds, CSN, Jefferson Airplane, and of course some late-period Beatles -- combined with more contemporary indie pop like Teenage Fanclub and lo-fi baroque psych like the Olivia Tremor Control.  It's melodic and catchy, intermittently trippy, and always engaging. The album is also relatively concise, less than half an hour long with mostly shorter pieces, yet feels like a surprisingly substantive and complete work.

Opener "A Place For You" sets the tone, catchy, laid back pop that invokes OTC and maybe some of Beck's stripped down work, before breaking into a nice little electric Byrdsy break at the end.  The highlight for me is "Falling To Be," a gorgeous, tuneful ditty with a soaring chorus, just killer.  That one's followed by the equally great "On Your Way," with even more stellar harmonies right out of the Teenage Fanclub playbook.  The one song that cuts loose a bit is the more extended "Saturday-Sunday," more lovely harmonies and a great hook which breaks open into an extended moog-like closing jam, shades of the Yellow Submarine album ("It's All Too Much," indeed).

Give this one a shot, it's pretty hard not to love it.

Here's a live take on "Falling To Believe":
And here's a complete concert from 2017, a little heavier on the psychedelia than the album, but great stuff:
You can find the album for purchase or download on Tuttle's Bandcamp page.