Brad Yoder worth your ‘Trouble’

By Larissa Gula

Excellent Trouble

Brad Yoder

Reverie… Excellent Trouble

Brad Yoder

Reverie Records


Sounds Like: Elliott Smith, John Prine

Proving once again that songs can be both poetry and involved narratives, local songwriter Brad Yoder’s new album Excellent Trouble brings his myriad of lyrical talents to attention.

Yoder’s songs capture the simplicity, sadness and beauty that life experiences afford from reminiscing about friends of school days long past, to losing someone, to heartbreak and falling in love.

The song “Leave Me Like This,” for instance — written in memory of a close friend — is almost guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes with the chorus line, “You didn’t have to leave / didn’t have to leave us wondering / what we could’ve done, if anything?”

Other songs are just plain fun.

In the title track, Yoder reminisces about a night out with a friend, using lyrics like, “We’ll color fluorescently outside the lines / so when, dour-faced, they ask us why we can’t stop smiling / it’s just that it’s all so unbearably beautiful.”

Yoder’s instrumental focus remains on his guitar and his voice — although he’s able to incorporate keyboards and drums when recording in the studio — because with these two tools alone, his songs come through clear and poignant.

Yoder’s album also features other vocal talents backing him up, such as Ray DeFade and Heather Kropf.

Each artist was chosen carefully, and each complements their song’s emotional impact.

Overall, this album offers plenty of heartfelt moments and harmonious melodies.

The singer-songwriter has only improved since his previous release, and it will be exciting to see what else Yoder concocts in the coming months.