Posts Tagged 'folk'

Monsters of Folk Release Self-Titled Album

The idea of combining indie rock darlings Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward, conceived in 2004, finally came to fruition yesterday with the release of The Monsters of Folk‘s self-titled album. The fifteen track disc defeats the old adage, often applied to super-groups, of the sum being less than its parts.

Monsters of Folk

The four artists, each already having their own successes with bands Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and She & Him, highlight the best in each other. All four players share songwriting and vocal duties, and no one artist steals the spotlight completely; however, Oberst’s trademark sound does permeate most of the songs. His distinctive wordplay lyrics and jaunty folk-rock are predominant.

James’ past work with many different genres and influences in his band My Morning Jacket comes through on the trip-hop opening song “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” and the funk inspired “Losin Yo Head.” The evocative harmonies typical of Ward and Oberst are pervasive. And Mogis, originally of Oberst’s band Bright Eyes, plays a more minor role in the forefront of the album, but was major behind the scenes working as producer.

All four artists brought their best to the table, and created a disc of enjoyable, catchy folk tunes.

monsters-of-folk

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Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang

nathen maxwell

After thirteen years playing with Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly, bassist Nathen Maxwell has put out an album from his solo side-project, Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang. Teaming up with his drummer father, who goes by the name maxwellvision, their 10-track disc, White Rabbit, was released last week.

nathen_and_papa_maxwell_in_recording_studio

Surprisingly enough, Maxwell’s album does not fit into a punk rock nor Celtic genre at all. Instead, it is an acoustic album with reggae and folk influences, much more delicate sounding than anything Flogging Molly has ever released. Maxwell explains that he grew up listening to reggae and was inspired to put his heartfelt lyrics to reggae’s softer sound. His lyrics range from topics of politics, in “Chief of a Nation” and “Working for the Man,” to the feelings that come along with new love, in “Love Outlaw” and “Love You Mad”; but all songs share Maxwell’s earnest singing.

Maxwell is the first to warn Flogging Molly fans not to expect what they’re used to; and conversely, tells people who are not fans of the punk band to give him a shot. And as for Flogging Molly’s status, the band is still alive and well but has decreased its touring schedule for the year, allowing Maxwell time to work on this project.


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