Aoun’s latest single is an expansive sprawl of folk goodness. Minimalistic acoustic arpeggios give way to touching chords with -at times- rugged dissonance that makes the listening experience dynamic and unpredictable. ‘Shears’ is an ambitious undertaking that succeeds on all considerable fronts.

Aoun is a singer and songwriter who has Palestinian-Jordanian heritage, and who has set up his base of operations in Brooklyn. For his latest release, Aoun states that he had length in mind. While writing ‘Shears’, a song about accepting the end of a relationship, Aoun wanted to create a long, heaving epic that progresses from humble and shy beginnings to massive crescendos in the end, a formula that is far easier said than done. Aoun excels in crafting an expansive journey that progresses through layers of intensity, never once feeling stagnant, hurried or undercooked.

‘Shears’ benefits from an organic instrumental that’s roomy and warm, and if that warmth doesn’t necessarily show up in the beginning guitar and vocal duet, which has double-tracked vocals and simplistic, dry guitars, making for a claustrophobic atmosphere that matches the desolation in the lyrics and the music, then it readily starts to show up as soon as the beat starts to take shape, along with the introduction of subdued -but arresting- horns, right about halfway through the song. A show-stopping instrumental break. The crescendo then starts after a short electric guitar passage, in which the clean electrics vanish for earth-shattering rhythmic stomps, accompanied by hearty yells, before the coda proper starts with the return of the horns, this time monumental and triumphant, leagues apart from the subdued middle section.

‘Shears’ is simply a well-put-together song. Beautifully performed by Aoun and all his bandmates, with valuable input from Big Dumb Baby, the song succeeds in what it sets out to achieve. An expansive piece of calculated progressive folk that cements Aoun’s name as a capable songwriter and lyricist.