At the heart of traditional Americana lies love drunk truths dispersed with piquant forthrightness; modern times have especially proven that whatever comes after to parley with the obvious qualities emerges from the gut of individual artists crafting their work. Annabelle’s Curse are one of several folk-rock bands that have gone out on a limb to give the classic American genre an engaging revitalization, their songs inundated by rollicking banjo and guitar, tight percussion, and singalong choruses not far off the beaten path from an early Mumford & Sons. Where the Mumfordian comparisons end are arguably at lyrical depth and composition variety, wherein the Tennessean-Virginian outlet has them beat.
For longtime listeners of Annabelle’s Curse, the most immediate change between Worn Out Skin and previous efforts is an obvious upscaling of the production budget. Never have Zack Edwards and Carly Booher’s vocals come across as translucently as they do on their third record. The album as a whole maintains a reassured sound in which the band isn’t afraid to toy with their influences, ranging from a Mediterranean electric groove on “Brother in Arms”, a subterranean centrifuge meeting with windswept Appalachia on “Rich Valley”, and a noir overtone on “Beneath the Clouded Moon”.
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