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Track Review: ‘Burn the Witch’ by Shawn James

A unique sound that blends folk, soul, and the blues.

On his new track “Burn the Witch,” Shawn James, draws from his origins in the south side of Chicago to create a unique sound that blends folk, soul, and the blues. James is known for his covers and soundtracks featured on Play Station, Reddit, and hit shows like Shameless and Reckless.

Since his musical debut in 2012, James created four studio albums and two EPs that showcase his unique sound that brought in thousands of listeners and subscribers.

James released a new song in early November 2019, Burn the Witch, a track on James’ upcoming album: The Dark and the Light, which will be released in early March of 2019.  The song starts soft with light guitar strums.  He strikes the listener with the first lyric: “The flames lick at my feet / Their hearts filled with hate,”creating a gloomy and somber atmosphere. Like most folk music, the song begins slow with low octaves that build up to the chorus.

“Burn the Witch” has a unique sound and unusual lyrics that won’t play to every listener’s taste.

Because the song is slow paced some listeners may become bored with the tempo and tune out, missing James’ lyrics completely.  However, fans of James will be enticed by track and ready for the rest of the album.

Upon my first listen, the soft guitar drew me into the track, keeping me guessing and wanting to know where the song was going. The track is reminiscent of western songs played in ’80s cowboy movies, and old folktales. 

If this track is an indication of what’s to come from James in March, fans will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on The Dark and The Light. The imagery and the tempo of the music play a huge role in this single’s success. It draws people back to blues music in a modern dimension. 

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