“The Way It Goes” by Mark Houston

Damn but some folks have an uncanny knack of doing “the break-up song” but few can make it sound this good… Mark Houston, multi-instrumentalist based in Spokane, WA is the protagonist here ruminating over the recent demise of a relationship. This is indie-pop / alternative pop-folk that strips away the rose tinted glasses in coming to terms with a recent split:

“We’re tied together but the string is loose, the net has come undone. No matter what you catch when there’s a hole, it’ll run…”

What’s exciting and daring about this tune is the celebratory air, a giddy jauntiness, playful vocals, sassy melodica riffs and a groove to match… what influenced Mark?

“I had been in a long-term relationship which ended amicably about six months prior, which brought about a period of self-reflection and personal growth in my life. I fell in love with running, and a college buddy of mine introduced me to both the melodica and Bill Withers (Ain’t No Sunshine, Lovely Day, etc.) whom I listened to on repeat throughout the summer months. It was during this time that I wrote “The Way It Goes,” which was heavily inspired by Withers both lyrically and musically, and focuses on the idea of ‘removing the rose-tinted glasses,’ or looking beyond the positive qualities of something and seeing the full picture for the first time.”

Artist Mark Houston poses for a portrait to promote his upcoming album on July 23, 2020 in Spokane, Washington. Photo by Libby Kamrowski/ Libbykphotography

You can certainly hear the Bill Withers influence, that subtle, delicate intuitive sound may also put you in mind of a Bonnie Prince Billy / Ry Cooder hybrid… so, lots to look forward to with an album release scheduled for later in the year. Though his songs are typically led by layered vocals, guitar-driven melodies, and strong rhythms, you may begin to hear other hidden layers within each track upon listening for the second or third time…

Please don’t forget that you can also show your support by following him on his Instagram Facebook and Twitter account, as well as Soundcloud and Spotify channels. You can also provide monetary support by downloading his music on Bandcamp.

It also helps to stream and share their music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists:  Fresh Singles,  Less Than 1,000 Followers and Indie Only 

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