Rising indie artist Jack Van Cleaf has released his melancholic folk album, Fruit from the Trees, premiering on Atwood Magazine who described the debut as “a radiantly raw alt-folk reckoning in the depths of connection, emotion, and the human experience.”

Says Van Cleaf:

“These songs were written over the course of a seven-year period spanning from high school to early adulthood.”

Dreamy acoustic guitar and vocals that sway in gorgeous imagery from the lyrics create a top-to-bottom quality record for any folk lover – or any music lover, for that matter.

The album opens like a lost suitcase. Written across the last seven years, the ten tracks are stashed with fables and fictions, letters to high school lovers, loose change in foreign currency, and a white bandanna chalked in red Texas dust. The record’s first single, “Black & Blue,” distinguishes itself with slow beauty and strong narrative command dressed in subtle harmonies and shimmering guitars. In “Cowboy,” a guilt-ridden rogue’s romantic vision canters from fireside folk to anthemic rock, fit for the vast desert sky. The fan-favourite and rumbling heartbeat of the record, “Rattlesnake,” is struck by the overwhelming possibilities of living “drunk on freedom, stuck on choice.” And in “Wild Roses,” the arrangement spreads out in sunlit brass while the lyrics write – as vivid as memory – of a Florentine spring love affair.

When Van Cleaf started writing for this album, he couldn’t have imagined the journey to the actual release. He was simply writing to document and process the most formative years of his life. Fruit from the Trees title fits the collection perfectly as the project feels like a harvest of sorts. “The image of the fruit presented itself as a reminder of the immediate and tangible sweetness of life,” says Van Cleaf. “Where the frustrations of the recording process inflamed my urge to scratch everything, the image of the fruit symbolically suggested that I reconsider and take a careful look at what has grown out of this time. Fruit from the Trees is the product of that reconsideration.”

Cover art for ‘Fruit From Trees’ by Jack Van Cleaf