With sharp instrumentation that brings to mind the Punch Brothers, the latest video by the Michigan Americana ensemble Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys is a catchy and convivial slice of acoustic music.
Following a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the Michigan roots quartet Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys created and recorded their latest outing, Ionia. "Hot Hands", the first track off of the LP, is a charming number with a particularly cool mandolin riff at its center (check the picked harmonic note). The catchy and clever riffs recall the sharp "popgrass" stylings of groups like the Punch Brothers and Joy Kills Sorrow. Below you can view an intimate session recording of the song, where each musician is given a chance to shine instrumentally.
Lindsay Lou tells PopMatters this about the song: "We had taken time off and were backpacking in Central America. It was in Nicaragua that the seed for the song first sprouted. I had some ideas for a melody and chords, but only placeholder lyrics. I was perched on a shelf in the shared bathroom of our hostel taking voice memo recordings of the ideas.
"Then, a month later or so, I sat down and tried making sense of some lyrical concepts. A close childhood friend of mine was sending me text messages about her experiences being freshly and deeply in love. I could relate to her so well, and the song starting coming into it's own. When I played it with the band the beats came together like a puzzle, acting as a drum kit with our acoustic instruments. PJ was the first to set that tone on his bass. Then the mandolin, and finally the dobro. Another friend of mine described the groove as 'krunk'".
Ionia is out now via Earthwork Music.