The White Buffalo, also known as Jake Smith, is truly an unknown force to be reckoned with. The Los Angeles based indie-folk rocker just released his latest EP Prepare for the Black and Blue, its title a foreshadowing of the heartfelt emotions that its five songs bring.
Musically, Prepare for Black & Blue is a solid note to end 2010 on. Smith’s lyrical honesty infused with mellifluous acoustics leaves one in anticipation for his next full length release, due out next year. It is as intimate as possible with just a man, his guitar, a rugged voice channeling the likes of Eddie Vedder, and lyrics that spy on the heartbreaking snippets of life, love and the longing surmise of moving on.
“Love Song #2” tells a simplistic story musically while going deeper lyrically to tell a story of heartbreak seemingly beyond repair, wondering if he’ll ever see “her” again, but knowing in his heart that never is the more likely response. “Darling” is a remorseful song diving into Smith’s pain and an eerie darkness with deeper vocals, faster paced guitar strums and the inclusion of background vocals. “John Jaimeson” attempts to end the EP on a lighter note with the unmistakable sounds of The White Buffalo, and leaving the listener on an emotional cliff-hanger of sorts waiting to hear how the rest of the story will pan out.
There is something unique and captivating about listening to The White Buffalo perform, bonding with a man, his guitar, and his stories.