It may sometimes look it, but folkin’ ain’t easy. More so than many arenas of music, what divides the beloved and neglected can often feel truly intangible. Gather 10 music nerds in a room. They’ll almost certainly all agree Pink Moon is transcendentally incredible, but they’ll just as surely have a hard time explaining just what sets it above nearly everything else, and once they've tried, it’s doubtful any of them will agree as to why.

Despite being among the most welcoming genres around, folk is intriguingly hard to get a precise bead on. That isn’t stopping L.A. singer songwriter Chase McBride from trying.

Determined to hit that sweet spot, McBride is returning with his second full LP of 2018 alone. Following up February’s Green Shade, he’s grown inexorably closer to that elusive sweet spot with Pink Lemonade.

Going down as smoothly and sweetly as the beverage for which it’s named, the only mystery here is why what sounds (and feels) like such a summery staple is hitting stands in December. The simple answer there seems to be: McBride is bringing warmth to our coldest months.

Truly, getting lost in the likes of the breezy, contented jog of ‘Help Me’, you can almost imagine a biting winter breeze isn’t just outside. In finding solace and worth in the slightest moments, much like the best folk, McBride makes the relative disappointments of aging feel not only bearable, but natural; worth it all.

To call music “kind” may feel a tacked on qualifier, but Pink Lemonade more than earns the title. McBride seems to ooze decency, welcoming us with care into his gently, slowly meandering little world. In the rush of our bruised culture, not to mention the relative insanity of our reality going into 2019, a little bit of earnest generosity goes a long, long way.

With shades of Iron & Wine and Mac DeMarco alike, Pink Lemonade may indeed be indebted to what’s come before it, but what shines through above all is, indeed, Chase McBride’s relentless drive to shed a little light on our collective situation. A generous guest at just nine songs across a modest thirty minutes, Lemonade never overstays its welcome. A brisk walk through warm memory and softened expectations leading to understanding, the album proves an unexpected last minute delight as the year collapses towards a close. In searching for a bit of peace for himself, he’s found some for all of us. That’s no minor thing: "What a way to spend the day.”