With an aesthetic that brings to mind groups like Joy Kills Sorrow, the Colorado-based the Railsplitters find that perfect balance between bluegrass instrumentation and earwormy pop melodies. On their newest LP, The Faster It Goes, all the players are all uniformly great, supporting each other but also taking breaks off to let their instrumental chops shine. Some of their riffs and melodies evoke the knotty playing of Punch Brothers; in fact, “Salt Salt Sea” close sonic kin to that band’s “Movement and Location”.
Below you can stream “You”, which juxtaposes poppy mandolin chords and jangly banjo picking. Above all else, though, is the stellar vocal interplay of the group, evoking both classic pop harmonizing and the communitarian sense that’s found in the best bluegrass and folk music.
The Railsplitters’ resident banjo player, Dusty Rider, tells PopMatters, “‘You’ is written based on the everyday interactions between people, specifically when it comes to trying to impress one another. A lot of the verses in the song are based on actual or implied things that I’ve heard through the years, some of which were directed at me. The music itself came from a two-chord jam I had with a local fiddle player a couple years ago. I remember remarking how I thought the tune could use ‘one of those long, flowy vocal lines.’”
The Faster It Goes, which was the beneficiary of a successful Kickstarter campaign, is out now.