Back in 2006 the movie Once was released. Along with the release the fictitious band in the movie was actually a real band called The Swell Season. Their popularity rose and spawned a host of intimate male/female groups. I’d be lying if that wasn’t the first thing I thought about when listening to Founder by Founder. It wasn't just because of the male and female members but their sound.
James Clarno and Cat Hahn play into the same emotional energy on their six song EP. It’s warm, melancholy with a dash of hope. It’s also has the same “sit by the fire” intimate vibe that plenty of people will appreciate.
Founder is a far from perfect EP but there is a lot to enjoy. I think the most important aspect are the vocals and luckily they both can sing and even more importantly sound good together. You think this might be a given but it's not trust me.
The songwriting is solid but also predictable at times. A song like “Anywhere but Down” sounds like it could be a Goo Goo Dolls b-side. I would have liked the duo to step a little outside of the typical pop structure and experiment a bit more. They fare a bit better on “Ticket For One” while still in a similar vein has a little more of a folk vibe that sounded well suited for the band. “Ticket For One” tackles typical turbulence in love. They sing “My head is in a fog, my heart aches too The things you thought you lost The things I do All you left was a picture frame, you said goodbye.”
“Winter Night” is slower moving song which gets another layer of emotional resonance thanks to the viola while the band gets way more festive on “Yelling as the Rain”. They have some more success on “Two Thousand Miles”. “Let You Go” had it's moments but also had moments where the bass and acoustic guitar sounded out of time.
The production is good for DIY but can't say it's commercial studio quality. There were times a compressor would have tamed the vocals and thought the acoustic guitar was too thin and had a little too much of the open mic type sound. That being said that get about eight five percent there as a whole.
This folk/pop duo does this style justice. You should know relatively quickly if this is your cup of tea unless you have been living under a rock for the last ten years.
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