Cody Degaust’s debut album Substance Romance is unlike anything I have heard from Atlantic Canada. This is smooth pop at its best…with a hint of jazz influence.
While instantly familiar, it is difficult to find a musical comparison for Degaust. The smooth vocals. The soft, sensual, jazzy guitar tones. If pressed, I may have to say John Mayer. But only if pressed.
Degaust began his musical journey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. At age 12, he began playing guitar focusing on classic rock and writing new music of his own while jamming with schoolmates. This led to Degaust’s first band, Tomorrows Attraction, who performed at local festivals and received airplay from CBC radio. In 2010, Degaust released his first solo album, titled Liars & Thieves. After taking a break from music, Degaust began recording again in early 2015 and released his second album , Substance Romance, in 2016.
Now living in Halifax, Degaust’s return to the music scene has not gone unnoticed. Substance Romance is currently nominated for Alternative Recording at the 2016 Music Nova Scotia Awards.
It is impossible to listen to, and write about, this album without focusing on two things: vocals and guitar. Both are smooth, polished and engaging. The album starts with a calming guitar lick on the song “Beautiful”. It is easy to tell that Degaust has spent many hours crafting his style. The title track “Substance Romance” provides more of a funky vibe. “Burning Ground” then elicits a sad, longing tone, played out expertly again in the vocals and guitar. “Better Than Nothing” is perhaps the pop-iest song on the album and “Spit” reveals Degaust’s rock side.
From beginning to end, Substance Romance is one of my favourite albums of 2016. I keep coming back to the guitar playing. It seems so effortless and fluid. I highly recommend you give this one a listen.
Substance Romance is available for purchase on iTunes
Favourite Songs – Beautiful, Substance Romance, No Other Way
3. Burning Ground
5. No Other Way
6. What Might Have Been
7. Better Than Nothing
10. Who Are You
11. Us Against Ourselves