Thorin Loeks – Thirsty Hearts

Thorin Loeks - Thirsty Hearts

Thorin Loeks – Thirsty Hearts

Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Thorin Loeks hails from the Yukon, but is currently residing in Vancouver.  He released his debut album, Thirsty Hearts, in the middle of 2016 and it deeply reflects Loeks’ experiences and outlook on the journey called life.

Loeks’s geographical voyages have taken him through and from Canada to the Arctic Circle, South America, and parts of the United States like Oregon and the regions that bound the length of the Mississippi river.  His travels, the people he connected with along the way, and the music he heard all influenced Thirsty Hearts. Loeks distills his insights and struggles on the eight-song album that winds like a gentle river through pleasantly accommodating terrain.  Loeks crafted all of the music on Thirsty Hearts, singing and playing guitar, harmonica, kick-drum, foot tambourine, and piano in the studio.

The title-track and its chorus is Loeks’s mission statement as he emotes in a low and rich tone that lightly turns to a wistful register as he muses, “…it’s left me wondering / Why keep dreaming to live / Instead of living our dreams / And a life that we love.”  Gleaming, picked acoustic strings and a brisk beat accentuated by tambourine hits keep the mood upbeat and hopeful.

Loeks’s picked acoustic guitar playing segues from mellifluously flowing notes to briskly struck chords, depending on the part of each song.  Emphasis is placed on his observant lyrics.  He gets down to the essence on “Bare Bones”, calling out against the pronounced beat of a drum, “…you strip down to your bare bones to feel / What’s real.”

Each composition is the culmination of appreciation for what Loeks has gone through in his life.  He chooses to remain positive and find purpose in existence, even when challenges must be faced.  On the lyrically relevant “Crossroads” he realizes that, “I don’t know where I’m going / But as time keeps turning I’m looking for a message / Of love, kindness, and gratitude in a world so divided by our fears.”  He’s accompanied by subdued backing vocals and violin lines from Kaylie Higgs, light harmonica lines, and contemplatively picked acoustic guitar.

Loeks’s lyrics resonate strongly even though he doesn’t shout them from the rooftops.  His heartfelt vocal delivery easily carries the import of his words, at times straightforward and at others in a longing tone.  Even though the path of life is not always smooth, he pledges to, “…hold my head / Up today / And I promise to learn from my mistakes.” on “Burst Like A Bubble”.

“These Crazy Days” is more shadowy and questioning, with Loeks backed by Higgs’s light vocals and occasional violin sway, hazier guitar strum, and an insistently thumping beat and tambourine strikes.  He admits that at times, “…it’s not easy / When it all feels out of control.”

“Break Free” instrumentally lightens up with its glistening acoustic guitar strings, a wooden clacking beat, fuller backing vocals, and Loeks’s lifted up vocal tone.  The lyrics tackle the theme of finding a purpose in life with finesse, commencing with the revelation that, “All these things are distracting me / I lose track of what keeps motivating me.” and then moving to the thought, “…let it be today / Break free… / All we have is today.”

Pensive piano lines make an appearance at the start of “For Love”, before sliding into acoustic guitar strum and harmonica pulls.  A soulful Loeks cries out, “Break down this divide / That holds our hearts apart / Now it’s time / To set those fears aside.”  While he may be referring to the differences between two people in a relationship, his potent message can be applied to the current divisive state of the whole world.

Thirsty Hearts ends with a quickly rambling guitar-based number named “Warmer World” that radiates a noir Americana vibe.  Lyrically, the song can be taken as a warning bell about climate change and the detrimental impact of humans on the natural environment.  Loeks sings in a voice filled with portent about living, “Through the tragic symphonies of our age / While the monsters we made / smolder… / Through whatever fate we choose to shape / In a warmer world.”

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