Robert N. Paulson: Inglenook

For anyone who is getting sick of music that sounds the same, here is something different for you. Robert N Paulson, a Bellingham artist, recently released a new album Inglenook. The album, which is both sad and beautiful, covers topics ranging from the existential ponderings in the song “Umanzia Squalor,” to daily troubles such as not being able to smoke at work in “Bard Yarn.”

In the opening track Paulson makes it clear that he doesn’t go to school (hence the title, “I Don’t Go to School”). Instead, it seems he must spend more time than the average person making music. This is Paulson’s third album of the year and he has certainly developed his own distinct style. Inglenook is calm, acoustic, raw, and cathartic. Something about the minor key and the sound of the piano is comforting and the ambiance has potential to induce nostalgia.

The album is a self-released solo project recorded in his apparently haunted bedroom which he goes into more detail about in “Strange Rooms.” This song is one of my personal favorites on the album because of the imagery it creates and the peaceful piano introduction.

Paulson is able to create an instrumental atmosphere that is balanced and captivating. His music has a hint of darkness without being overwhelmingly depressing. His songs make hm very relate-able. The complete honesty in Paulson’s lyrics puts the listener in his shoes.