Edmonton-based singer songwriter Ken Stead’s debut album titled Unfinished sounds as though it’s anything but. Each song creates a reflective and relaxing mood for the listener — with soft vocals and complex acoustic instrumentals. Each song tells a story from his five years of making music, presented with hope and persistence. The contemporary folk-style music Stead produces has a refined and almost elegant feel — nothing in the music is rushed or hurried.
The EP opens with “Better Days,” a song about the passing of friends. However, the song is presented with an upbeat tone and the message “everything will be okay.” The song “Forevermore” starts off slow and mellow, about letting go of your past to move on with your life. Throughout the song there are small piano interludes done by Stead himself, which add a lighter mood to the song. One of the later songs on the EP is titled “Blanket For Two,” a song that is quiet and soft, almost like a lullaby. The song has a dreamy sound which brings warmth into the music and the album — a nice respite from the somewhat serious content of the other songs.
Unfinished is an album full of hopeful music. Whether you’re dealing with the passing of a loved one or simple midterm stress, pick up the album to listen to and relax for half an hour. The music is uplifting and Stead’s voice is calm and soothing. If Unfinished is still a work in progress, I have high hopes for his future works.