"This is the brainchild of young Ontario singer-songwriter Stephen Pepler. He makes his debut in impressive fashion with this understated, but subtly convincing release. Pepler has a slightly breathy and sweetly melodic voice that perfectly complements his soft folk-rock approach. Reference points include the likes of David Gray and Jose Gonzalez. Pepler co-produced with Toronto roots stalwart David Baxter, who contributes typically tasteful guitar.
The cast list of instrumentalists include such Baxter regulars as Blake Manning, Burke Carroll and Treasa Levasseur, while Pepler and Dave Saliba impress with their guitar work. Judiciously employed mandolin, banjo, accordion and pedal steel add a rootsy tinge, but Pepler’s voice is unaffected and twang-free. Kim The Lion saves the best for last, closing with the potentially anthemic “We Will Rise” and the rousing “I Walk This Road.” EXCLAIM REVIEW