Martin Kaplan is an American singer-songwriter based in San Diego, California. The Slow Down is his first solo release and features 12 tracks which channel an alt-country vibe. The opening track; I Wouldn’t Fight It, sets the tone with some excellent guitar playing in the arrangement and a fine melody. The musicians on The Slow Down include veterans of the Los Angeles Americana music scene including Todd Herfindal (The Meadows), Rich McCulley (Bob Woodruff, Will Kimbrough), Carl Byron (Anne McCue, Michelle Shocked), Greg Boaz (Dave Alvin) and Tommy Rickard (Linda Perry, Scott Weiland).
The production by Todd Herfindal is very bright and clean with chiming guitars prominent throughout. I’ll Forget You is a strong track and Other People’s Shoes reflects on the fear of living life and the habit of judging ourselves through the expectations of others. Mom and Dad deals with weight of expectation and mental illness; while the gentle strum of Basement is a gentle love song with a twist.
These are relationship songs of love and loss played with style and substance. The title track reflects on the need to take life at a different pace and the closing song When We’re Gone brings the set to an impressive conclusion with a slow groove and some fine tabla playing.