Frightful Places is the solo project from New Haven, CT’s Kevin Tiernan (Moving Brooklyn, Mighty Tortuga). The debut, self-titled EP takes from each of the projects whilst bringing much of Tiernan’s own identity to the tracks.
Opener “Old Frame” is haunting but mesmerizing, with splashes of post rock influence coming through from the offset. There’s something very moreish about Tiernan’s delivery, a lot of which is in the intricate intertwining of twinkling guitar riffs and the raw vulnerability of the vocal delivery, a pattern which continues on the title track. “Frightful Places” is candid and thoughtful as Tiernan rides with life’s highs and lows, celebrating the challenges and not shying from the hardship.
“Still” gives a stripped back and introspective look into the soul of the Connecticut project, harnessing the best of the emo revival with flickering nods to the likes of Turnover and Citizen evident.
Injecting a dose of energy into the EP, indie punk flavored “Ecklund Garden” sees Tiernan’s pop punk roots come through. The track glistens with melody and pinpoint timings, which are a notable staple throughout the debut.
Tiernan arguably saves the best until last with the dazzling and anthemic “Stuck.” The driving rock affair bringing the album full circle with effervescent melodies, deft, dancey guitars, and astute songmanship.
There are signatures of producer Chris Teti (The World Is A Beautiful Place…) throughout Frightful Places. The clever layering of guitars adds depth and contrast—most notably on “Old Frame” and “Stuck”—and brings the EP to life. The record is an accomplished and unerringly likeable debut from Tiernan. Much of what grips the listener is in the frankness and honesty on show, which offer a conduit from the vulnerable and raw to the cathartic and hooky.
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Photo courtesy of Frightful Places