“Scratch” is essentially a rock album (what else could it be?), and yet, Kaufman ignores the standard rock band format. Instead, he uses acoustic guitar, soulful cello, and mostly South American and Middle Eastern percussion to form his core sound. For additional color, he adds, organ, mellotron, harmonica, flute and accordion (?!) and, yes, electric guitar and bass in supporting roles. A smattering of studio effects keep things modern while the overall character feels very organic.
Who wants to hear about someone else’s perfect life? Well, there’s nothing like that here! Kaufman’s unpretentious, conversational vocal style lets you know he’s lived what he sings about. With zero concern for fitting into any established genre, he navigates a believable emotional landscape, one which he owns and owns up to. The lyrics are engaging, never obvious, and likely to make you think of something from your own life. Each song seems to cry out for its own movie.
Although no other male artist so far has covered a Kaufman composition, a number of rocking ladies have already stepped up to the plate. The ones who have taken it the farthest (and I mean far) are a trio from Russia called Unvasion. Here are their videos of “Hold You in My Mind” and “Rhapsody in Green,” both from the Scratch album.