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Jacob Acosta: Chants of Diplomacy (Self-Released) 

Of his first solo EP, Chants of Diplomacy, Jacob Acosta has stated (via press release) that his intentions were to break the invisible fourth wall between the artist and the audience, capturing an inviting and intimate photograph that is as much a lesson plan as it is a record.

Recorded so you can hear every breath and sigh in between Acosta's warmly sung lyrics, Chants of Diplomacy has the ambiance of a campfire group hootenanny where the vibrations are both celebratory and sentimental. The sound here is light, acoustic roots rock, with the detours into folk and almost-gospel that one might expect in the genre. "Normal Life" has some rousing backup vocals from familiar faces Vanessa Lundon and Keli Carpenter, and "Need Someone" is an end-of-the-night drunken love fest.

Many of the songs open with Acosta counting in the song, and raucous cheers and "hey"s populate the tunes elsewhere, reinforcing the communal spirit of the record. "No Taxes" is maybe the only rousing slice of libertarian rock yet recorded.

Chants of Diplomacy is an exciting blueprint for Acosta's upcoming national tour, and it would be a good idea to learn the words now because you're probably going to have to sing them at his concerts.

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