Roots music is a broad, catch-all term that is too broad to be used as a reference point. But, if labels are your sort of thing and you want a pointer as to what Roots music is all about, you could do a lot worse than give Arsonist Daughter, the debut album from Aspen Jacobsen, a spin.

Why? Well, for a start, it covers a lot of ground, pushing at the boundaries of Roots sounds in all directions. But there is also the fact that it is a pretty outstanding album. If roots music was a lake and Jacobsen the stone being skimmed across its surface, the ripples she makes as she skips across the genre take in everything from folk and country, blues, bluegrass, and Tex-Mex border vibes and even old-time music traditions. It is also the perfect weave of past sounds and forward-thinking writing and ticks as many boxes for the Roots music purist as it does for the casual listener or first-time sonic adventurer.

She does all this through a suit of deft and often delicate songs and via various instruments from acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, and keyboard. She even reclaims the ukulele from the current wash of pop pretenders and restores its place in the serious musical arsenal.

In short, it is everything that the modern roots album should aspire to. Actually, it is everything that every album should aspire to be.

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