Shades of the aural folk rock that’s pervaded releases by the likes of Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes flow through Bendigo Fletcher’s debut EP as naturally as they wear their Kentuckian roots on their sleeves, but there’s more to them than that. The quintet has only been around for a little over a year, and already they are breaking ground in the indie folk circuit as one of the latest hot commodities. With tight harmonies, soaring instrumental bridges, and a knack for developing earworm melodies across a broad scope of musical styles, it isn’t much of a wonder why that is.
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Modern Mal is a duo from Northern Michigan (Rachel Brooke and Brooks Robbins) who mix traditional country sounds with a bit of noir, doo-wop, surf sounds, and tropical flair. Their new album releasing tomorrow, The Misanthrope Family Album, is something of a concept record as it explores the feelings of loss that arose following the death of a family friend that they were caring for. This figure is the misanthrope at the center of the record and, not surprisingly, a good bit of melancholia surrounds the proceedings. However, dark those feelings may be, Brooke’s voice adds a necessary lightness and brightness that play with the dark undercurrents while lending the music a summery vibe. Those seemingly opposing forces balance each other out and make this album an intriguing piece of art.
Earlier this year Goldfrapp released their latest album Silver Eye and it’s one of the finest records in their catalogue as it’s full of sonically powerful songs, some for the dancefloor and some for relaxed listening, but all right on target. Chris Gerard said it best: “Silver Eye amps up the energy significantly on certain tracks, while others delve into slow-burning and darkly cinematic grandeur, a desperate quest through the labyrinthine depths of a distant and imposing frozen planet somewhere in a forgotten corner of the universe.”
Jedd Beaudoin: If we could get Chris Stapleton and Zakk Wylde to make an album together that might the ultimate. This has a great deal in common with the last Black Label Society record. It’s mellow but not depressingly so. The emotions are never overstated and it’s refreshing. You might wait for it to take off in some big way but that never quite comes. It’s surprising that this is a single. Seems more like a deep cut but good for him. [7/10]