As far as I can tell from the bio, this is a new kind of Americana rock band, rich with vocal harmonies and acoustic-based, more gentle influences. The feel of the album is described as vintage, recorded to analog tape. They've played the Occupy Wall Street protests and appeared on "Parenthood."
Wow, that paragraph seems so short! Eh, can't write books about them all I suppose. Anyone else up for just getting into it?
"Time Spent In Loa Angeles" kicks things off is this 90's rock sort of way, which I love right off the bat. It's probably amongst my favorite musical sound. Even the lyrics - a song on absence making the heart grow fonder - sing like an old Matchbox Twenty song. "You got that special kind of sadness, you got that tragic set of charms that only comes from time spent in Los Angeles. Makes me wanna wrap you in my arms." Other than the Los Angeles part, pretty sweet little song, right? There is something tragic about LA though, so it's understandable.
Here's the video. My semi-disdain for LA makes me still not love it, but the hopeless romantic girl in me feels appreciated. :)
"My Way Back Home" slows things down even further, taking in the observations of how things change when you come back. There's a feeling of home though, you know it. "And when my dreams all lead me nowhere, I won't forget my way back home." Slightly depressing lyric, but oh well. There aren't enough songs (outside of country music) that describe going home, at least in my opinion. The feelings completely different than anything else in the world, even if you try to get away from it completely (not that I've tried... at least for a few years). The mood of that is captured in the solemn, yet thoughtful music.
A bit more of a steady upbeat song comes about with "Coming Back to a Man." By now, I'm just downright convinced this is a transplanted-from-the-90's album, given the guitar strumming and feelings-filled lyrics... oh and there's a harmonica in this one. "Some people are just called upon to be a memory to remind of of how we've changed." I mean, come on, doesn't it make you think? Okay, okay, I'll stop with the convincing - anyone who's reading this this far down and/or listening to the music probably gets it by now. Here's the song performed in-studio for WFUV:
I was kidding about the Matchbox Twenty thing before, really. But then we get the same title for a song here: "How Far We've Come." It sounds nothing like the MB20 (god that just made me feel lazy) version - much more folky. It's not a bad song for reflection, as a lot of these types tend to be. It's steady and okay as background music. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad about it.
What do I get from "Fire Away"? That this is a friend willing to listen. Ah, to be the one with the constant willing ear. It's a um... fun... task. There are a few people in this life that will be like that for you though - don't neglect them (sorry, personal shot there to someone who will probably never read this). The music is the same steady guitar song theme. It's funny that in this style, so many people get sick of the sound of the music itself. I understand - it all gets very similar. You have to be more of a lyrical person to appreciate things like this though. There's difference in the melodies (slightly), and definite changes in the words.
"Moon in the Water" is still more folk that anything else, but that voice keeps it from completely crossing over. The pitch is just high enough, and the words clear enough, to remain a pop/guitar song. This song's very simple, with light "oohs" in the background providing the ambiance, while a brush on the drums and guitar strum carries the rest of it. This is definitely one of those 'easy-on-the-ears' sort of songs. This is the song live at The Collect - Bowery, NYC, btw.
"The Way You Laugh" has this immediate feeling of "awww, how cute." I mean that in the best way possible - it's just something about the rhythm of the music. The voice sort of says otherwise, but I think that's just the tone it's sung in. Although, the guy is singing about the girl getting cut in half... I missed something here. Maybe it's a "you'll miss me" song. Who knows. These songs just beg to be interpreted. This one in particular has such interesting story woven throughout it that you can't help but want to make it relatable somehow. Or maybe that's just me.
The final song is "A Little Bit of Everything." It starts with a very old, classic piano playing, right off a good tone for an ending song. It just sounds like someone going away, like an old Irish tune even. The thoughts throughout the chorus are gripping because they're just a little too relatable on the heart. I guess this is a generally reflective moment on life. For its placement on the album, it's pretty perfect. A culmination of life, if you will, right down to the thoughtful guitar solo as it closes out. TrueEndeavorsBlog has a recording of it live from their Studio M as a part of their Soundcheck Sessions:
- "If I Wanted Someone"
- "My Way Back Home"
- "Fire Away"
- "The Way You Laugh"
I don't entirely know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I wound up with. This album was highly reflective, making for a more intense listening experience than others usually provide. Personally, this is right up my alley. I want to hear some of these songs again and again because there has got to be more I missed on first glance. This has the potential of being one of those albums that's like an old favorite movie - you get something more and even new out of it each and every time.