Singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato is undisputedly a veteran of the Seattle folk scene, releasing solid album after solid album over the past 15-odd years, including his last three LPs on local label Barsuk. It's a career trajectory that closely resembles that of Damien Jurado, who has been similarly active and respected locally. But while Jurado's recent Maraqopa was a sprawling record that veered away from simple acoustic folk songs, Votolato's Television of Saints is just the opposite.
Soft-spoken, mellow acoustic ballads are Votolato's trademark, and Television of Saints is full of them. It's the kind of record that's a dime a dozen in Seattle--lots of vocal harmonies, plaintive acoustic guitar, introspective lyrics about self-discovery--but Votolato does it better than most; credit his voice, which manages to be both engaging and unpretentious, and songwriting that's subtile enough to convey a message without beating you over the head with it.