Canadian indie folk artist Thorin Loeks released in May 2016 his debut album, Thirsty Hearts. The eight tracks, inspired by years of struggles and growing pains, are a soothing serenade of sorts, a series of deep thoughts put to music without the typical extra trappings meant to capture listeners’ attention. Loeks seems to be—and rightfully so—confident that his vocals, lyrics, instrumentation, and musicianship are more than enough
Providing the vocals, guitar, harmonica, kickdrum, foot tambourine, and piano heard on Thirsty Hearts, Loeks uses his thorough travel experience to share sometimes simple yet always powerful insights, showcasing not just his musical talent but also his wide vocal range—from some pretty deep tones to quite higher ones. While the album does seem at time to be quite uniform in sound, there are a lot of twists and turns to make every song worth listening too, all the more that they offer a great, relaxing respite to the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Pensive, meditative, and ultimately uplifting, Loeks delves into various aspects of the human experience with the purpose of developing a greater understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world.Theauthenticity in this debut album is refreshing and encourages listeners to move beyond the natural tendency to be cynical, negative, and apathetic into gratitude and joy.
The opening, title track sets the tone for the rest of the numbers. Wistful and hopeful, it combines the delicate plucking of an acoustic guitar with a uptempo beat, accompanied by warm vocals that seem to embody that wise, loving friend everyone wishes they had (and some are lucky enough to actually have). Loeks’ vocal range is put on display, as is his mantra: “Why keep dreaming to live/Instead of living our dreams?”
“Bare Bones” is a call for authenticity, which, coming from someone so real himself, makes for a powerful message. From plucked to strummed, the acoustic guitar is a gentle accompaniment to some deep sentiments in which Loeks doesn’t get caught thanks to the track’s rapid tempo.“Crossroads” features some impressive harmonies and a delicate violin that encourage listeners to choose hope even when in the stressful position of having to make a monumental decision.
Any doubts that Loeks is naïve and hasn’t been burned dissipates with the heartfelt “Burst Like A Bubble”, which ends with a recommitment to hope even after mistakes have been made, however big. The darker “These Crazy Days” reflects the maturity gained by facing uncertain times head on. And yet, “Break Free” reiterates the commitment to living one’s dreams.
The slower piano-led ballad “For Love” is a heartfelt call for people to reach across the divide to create unity, a message that is quite à propos now more than ever. The piano marks this tracks as a very different one from the others on this album and helps bring attention to the important message it conveys, further underlined by its simplicity. In a well thought-out placing, the next song, “Warmer World”, moves from dark and forlorn to upbeat and joyful, which, conceptually, one can assume is thanks in part to listening to the call for love of the previous number.
Listeners searching for thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring tracks should take a listen at Loeks’, available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information is available on the artist’s website.