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May 26, 2024

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James Apollo
Camilla (Nebular)

By: Alex Steininger

Still in his early twenties, Apollo has been performing music for half his life. In response to touring the country at age sixteen, Apollo is quick to point out: "I don't know if I learned more in school or on the road, but I sure remember a lot more desert sunrises than trigonometry." On his latest, CAMILLA, Apollo digs deeper into his roots rock influences, delivering an album with folk and country tendencies placed next to subtle rock 'n' roll and pop.

The title track is as much 60's American rock 'n' roll as it is modern pop-rock. Danceable and tender, it sets a soothing, yet still excitable pace for the album. "Ranton Pass" travels down a dusty country path as the rock 'n' roll shines through the trail of dust left behind, while "Blowing Out The Candles" is a back porch country dish.

The songs are sparse and airy, yet Apollo often makes it work into his favor as he wins you over with the subtle things rather than the stuff he puts right in front of you. It's got its loose ends that need to be tied up and worked on, and sometimes his songwriting lags. But, overall, it's a promising recording from an artist who isn't afraid to tailor himself after his influences. I'll give it a C.

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