Bahamas Is Afie
4 stars out of 5
Bahamas is the alias of Afie Jurvanen, and his third album is called Bahamas Is Afie. That part is pretty self-explanatory. The connection between the Canadian folky and the Caribbean island chain is a little less so, but there’s no complaining about the results.
Bahamas Is Afie is a triumph in soulful, roots music, and instead of just trying to sound old-timey, the record is full of personality. It takes quirky turns, sometimes settling into reserved, twangy ballads and other times strutting with groovy confidence. It’s idiosyncratic to underscore that this is Afie.
But he also sounds like M. Ward pretty often. That is in no way a complaint. Ward and Jurvanen share a knack for soulful folk, and the bigger arrangements on Bahamas Is Afie pushes the similarities to the forefront, as Bahamas share the same knack for layers and texture and the same deft finger-style guitar work. Their voices are pretty similar, too.
Bahamas has the songs, though. “All the Time” bounces along a big groove while being one of the more ornate songs in the Bahamas catalog. That’s followed by “Stronger Than That,” completing a one-two punch that’s well worth the price of admission alone.