Keep Your Promises II. Electronic Folk International. From top to bottom, the intrinsic emotion that Watkins sets on display in this ambivalent dissolution of a track hot and ready for the radio.
Everything Sean Watkins. Where the Watkins Family Hour was joyous and robust, What to Fear is stark and haunted, a reckoning of all the dark undercurrents flowing through America in a particularly tense election year.
Throughout the record he conveys a sense of urgency -- even when the tempos turn slow or the melodies are languid, the songs feel lean and purposeful -- and when paired with the meditative modulated of Watkins and his cohorts including bassist Mike Elizondo and drummer Matt Chamberlain , What to Fear turns into something hushed, haunting, and quietly affecting: Never one to take things easy, Sean Watkins quickly followed 2015's Watkins Family Hour -- the first-ever studio record from the loose collective that's long haunted the stages of L.
One might infer that Watkins has never seemed more heartfelt on a performance, and one might be right.
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Watkins occasionally touches on explicit social issues -- the title track makes no bones about what should be feared -- but he often explores the thin line that separates the personal and the political. The fledgling virtuoso who first came onto the roots scene in the first iteration of Nickel Creek way back in 1989, Watkins has ascended into a respectable position amongst the throngs of bluegrass greats, not only performing with Nickel Creek, but also in several other musical projects, such as Watkins Family Hour, who released a widely-acclaimed album just last year.