Andy Berkhout‘s Love Without Fear is a beautiful, folk-inspired record that unfolds like a lazy afternoon in the country. An acoustic album, with roots in folk and Americana, Love Without Fear is an intimate, gorgeous listen that is sure to captivate you. Tracks like “Love’s Deep Embrace” (below) remind me of Elliott Smith, even as they create something that is both personal and original.
I have to agree with Slowcoustic on this one: “So essentially I am saying that you know this album wasn’t just thrown together, it grew out of crafting numerous tracks over time and it shows in the pretty darn solid collection of finger-picking, folk tinged beauties.” Andy spent a year in which he released a song per week, and that dedication to improving and honing his songwriting craft really shines through here.
Here’s how Andy’s page describes the making of Love Without Fear:
Although Berkhout has released several volumes of self-recorded material over the last two years, Love Without Fear marks his first studio effort. The album was recorded at R&R Music Labs, a young studio in St. Louis’ Dogtown neighborhood. Engineers Ryan Albritton and Ryan Lewis (The Northwoods, Messy Jiverson) experimented with a variety of different room arrangements to capture the acoustic subtleties of the songs. Much of the album was recorded live with no overdubs. “I really wanted to make a record that would represent my natural sound, and knew this was the right way to do it,” says Berkhout.
I would say that Andy has succeeded in capturing a sound that is both natural and personal. Have a listen to a couple of my favorites, as well as the album, below. If you like what you hear, or want to know more, visit Andy Berkhout or Bandcamp.
Here’s “Love’s Deep Embrace:”
And here’s “Undrawn Lines:”
And here’s the complete stream of Love Without Fear: