Cataloguing melancholy is hardly a new thing, especially in folk. It just never gets old. Jeremy Squires represents all that goes well and all that makes sense about an age-old practice. His first record, A Place to Hide, places emphasis on simplicity and melody with a penchant for specious lyrics. Squires sports a saccharine delivery. His is a passively haunting croon that passes through the songs rather than dominating them. Perhaps the recording lends to that softness, but the delicacy sounds intentional. Squires’ delivery and dimensional understanding of the songs is stronger than these recordings can capture. That said, A Place to Hide is a solid debut.
Opener “Evil Things” represents the album well. The guitar moves over light drumming while piano accentuates the background. Squires vacillates between light and dark, dream and waking dream. The power in the song comes in a build, like the lyrics, with cymbal-led clutter and the clack of muted snare. “Just Like Magic” echoes the craftsmanship of “Evil Things” on a quieter level. An autumnal song, “Just Like Magic” isn’t the best on the album, but it might be the best delivered. Long, held-out notes cruise over the methodical guitar as Squires bounces from lazy verses into sharp choruses. The song shows the best strengths of the album while shying away from weakness. As the album continues, it’s easy to forget this song until you revisit it.