There is bound to be someone in the world that doesn’t enjoy good folk music. I would prefer not to be acquainted with that person. I know that may sound like an extreme statement, and sure, everyone is entitled to have their own musical preferences. But I just can’t conceive of someone not tapping their foot along to a spiraling fiddle solo, their endorphins rising as the banjo kicks in. When folk music is done well, it raises the spirits of everyone in the room.
The album Another Life by Rosewater Thieves contains this level of folk magic, capable of converting even the deepest of naysayers among us. Their sound consists of a strong blue-grass core with indie-folk layers and some pop punches on top. Imagine Wilco combined with the contemporary roots vibe of Trampled by Turtles.
Another Life marks the second album for Rosewater Thieves, based out of Los Angeles and Brooklyn. The initial recording of the album was interrupted by Hurricane Sandy, which flooded their studio, Red Hook. The album was finally released in June of this year after being mixed and mastered in L.A.
The myriad of instruments that creates the fleshed out sound on Another Life is the product of four people. Each band member has their own arsenal of abilities, whether that may be Sarah Rose on viola, piano and background vocals, or Jeremy Wall on the accordion, keys, vocals, sax and trombone. You get the idea. An extreme level of talent exists on this album.
The beautiful melt in your ears folk tunes present on Another Life tell the story of a man transitioning in his life. After years of turbulence, full of alcohol, drugs and women, he grapples with married life and fatherhood. A dark melancholy courses through each song. It’s clear the man in question has yet to find peace. This album pulses with discontent and wavering happiness. Rosewater Thieves achieve this tone through magnificently balancing distinct sounds.
They manage to be both lighthearted and emotionally wrenching at the same time. A banjo bounces along sweetly with a beastly, angry sax. Drum sticks tap sweetly on a table as a fiddle mourns for its lost love. Rather than clashing, the instruments converse with one another. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a folk lover, give the Rosewater Thieves a try. I bet you will find yourself tapping along if you have even an inking of heart.
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