Graydon James & the Young Novelists A Small Town Eulogy

As their name suggests, Graydon James is the main man in this Toronto, ON-based six-member collaboration, sharing vocal duties with Shawn Jurek (bass) and Laura Spink (melodica, glockenspiel). Mike Paddags (drums), Alex Dodd (keys) and multi-instrumentalist Noel Di Tosto (guitar, banjo and mandolin) lend their talents as well. Remarkably, with only four songs on this "teaser" EP (leading up to a full-length later this year), A Small Town Eulogy is quite a fulfilling listen. The record greets us with "It Takes All Kinds," a perfect slice of Canadiana folk rock that'll have you pining for an outdoor folk-fest binge. Follow-up track "Exception to the Rule" is more reflective, but no less compelling. Closer "Take Your Time," where fast-paced harmonizing meets a frenzied banjo while a piano rag goads them all on, is just bursting at the seams. Graydon James & the Young Novelists need no gimmicks for cred. Attesting to talent that's real and only just begun, A Small Town Eulogy is a work of unpretentious brilliance. (Independent)