Saturday, 22 March 2014

THE FOLK - ALBUM REVIEW

The Folk - We All Say 
The Folk - We All Say

When I started a band as a teenager the obvious place to look for members was my immediate group of friends. I mean, if you're going to spend months at a time touring the world with these people, they might as well be people you get on with, right? Canadian quintet The Folk have a similar philosophy as they are a group that has formed around friendship and you can kinda tell. From the opening strains and jangles of 'In Silence', the listener is treated to a sound that is not so much separate instruments but more different sounds coming from the same singular source. The delicate introduction to 'Subtle Play' has tones of Belly or Veruca Salt to it but with a slightly more pop-ballad feel that suggest this song could be picked up and polished for the likes of Pink or Kelly Clarkson but it's much more effective in its original, raw form. The Beatles-esque opening to 'So They Say' is a huge indication of the variety of influences and styles that these guys have drawn from, so when the soulful vocal of Sara Bortolon-Vettor kicks in and the band swirl all around in a myriad of time signatures it's a delightfully eclectic twister to be in.

By the time 'Soft Dispute' rolls around, I am quickly falling for The Folk and largely because they keep me guessing between indie, grunge, soul, rock, pop and whatever Alanis Morissette is. 'I'll See You Again' uses those retro keys sounds again but layers on some luscious vocals, intermingling guitars and mixes it all together with a jazzy rock spoon. Then the goalposts get moved again as a grumbling, fuzzed up bass line heralds the arrival of 'Physical Sound' which descends in to a swirling, bluesy, garage rock maelstrom that owes as much to Hendrix and Joplin as it does the White Stripes or the Black Keys. The jaunty, Redd Kross meets the Magic Numbers indie-piano-pop of 'I Care (If You Care)' is an innocent delight while 'Staying Up All Night' is a more introspective, melancholic affair which relies on acoustic guitars and vocals only but still builds in to an eminently satisfying climax. Those jangling, winding guitars are back on 'Deep Space' as The Folk find a point somewhere between 90s dance, Haight-Ashbury and the XX to pitch their tent in. The album finishes up on 'We All Say/Basement Feeling' with that beautiful eclecticism is there for all to see again and that's the great thing about being in a band with real, true friends. Even if there are any egos you are all close enough to deal with them which means there is space for everyone to bring ideas to the table and create something out of a collective mind, heart and soul.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/TheFolkFolk

Listen/Download Here: http://thefolk.bandcamp.com/album/we-all-say

Live Dates:

20th March - Clark Hall Pub, Kingston
21st March - Pressed Cafe, Ottawa w/Adverteyes
30th March - Merchant Ale House, Saint Catharines

4th April - Sneaky Dee's, Toronto w/Navy Skies + The Dying Arts + The Keroucs

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