Denver by Royce DeZorzi

Homefield Productions, Sam Densford

The debut offering from Denver-based Folk/Americana artist Royce DeZorzi is a 14-track instrumental journey called “Denver” that feels like a soundtrack to all your favorite ventures in life. The first three tracks on the album are entitled “One For John”, “Vision of Chloe”, and “Iron Shackle, respectively. Although the three tracks are based around similar chord progressions played in fingerstyle acoustic guitar, each has a distinct flavor and mood of its own. I presume (because of their names) that these tracks are based upon special personal stories of the artist, and for him to be able to transcend these feelings on his first record is so impressive. 

By the time we hit tracks 4, 5, and 6, which are entitled “Maybe Tomorrow Will Change Your Mind”, “My Eyes Won’t Stop Crying” and “Angel”, things began to get more melancholic. If this were a film score this section would fit the part of the events where things get rough for the main artist and he begins to struggle with some hardships (or probably a broken heart, as the track names suggest). Track Number 7 “Denver” gave the album its title, and it’s probably an homage to Royce’s hometown. The song is the one where Royce shows off his fingerstyle skills the most as well. It had me in awe and a tiny bit jealous of his skills because of that. 

Tracks 7 and 8 are called “She’s Walking Away” and “I’ve Got To Let Her Go”. In the same way, the first name is an exclamation and the second suggests he found closure, the former of these two has melancholic vibes, and the latter shows a more uplifting mood. It’s like a story within a story on its own. “Ayelyn” is a lengthier track with multiple phases and transitions between them, but it’s still easy to listen to altogether and that’s what I enjoy about the entirety of this record. Tracks 11 through 14 breaks from the coherent feeling that made the first half of the record feel like a movie score. While they are fine tunes on their own, they lost the spark that held the previous tracks together and that kinda turned me off. “Always With You” is the lengthiest of this group of songs and it remarkably shows some strumming, which was a fine break from the idea of writing the tracks all in fingerstyle. 

The bonus tracks, 15 and 16, are alternate versions of “Iron Shackle” and “She’s Walking Away”. I love how these versions add more complexity to already amazing compositions, but more importantly, they made me hope for better songwriting from Royce in the future. His future records will probably be more mature and diverse than this one is, cause he shows exceptional potential with his instrument and emotional delivery.