The American Buffalo is a music and art project from Dayton, OH, currently based out of Nashville, TN. At the helm of the project is Josh Edward. Edward is joined by bassist Kieran Cronley, drummer Tim Weigand and guitarist Jackson Badgley, who together make up the core of The American Buffalo. The band is releasing their debut album entitled Reflections.
The sound on the record is soft, a melding of indie rock, alt, pop, lounge, blues and jazz that offers up a lush soundtrack filled with melody-driven guitars, a trickling of piano, a smattering of drums and energized percussions.
Reflections opens up with “Into The Blue,” where noodling on the acoustic guitar starts off this track. Edward’s vocals are mesmerizing. At the focal is Edward’s dazzling vocals that evoke great emotion and range. The acoustic song then segues into a fuller band vibe with a smattering of piano melodies, drums, percussions and bass. A lounge vibe could be detected. Brushes of drama makes itself apparent on this track. The vocals are reverb-drenched.
On “Composition No. 5,” numerating on the acoustic guitar jumpstarts this song. The vocals soar buoyed by the guitar and ambient synths. This is a slower striding number with a country-twang vibe and Americana feel. A melodic piano melody courses through this dramatic sounding ballad.
On “Caught Between Our Troubles,” a slow sauntering sound comes from the acoustic guitar. The drums provide a marching backbeat. The sound is ominous with the electric guitar offering riffs of discord. The cadence is slightly off-kilter. Edward’s vocals are operatic with a sound reminiscent of Fun. This is a slow burning ballad. It has a nice flow to it with a touch of drama. A jam session ensues around the four-and-a-half-minute mark. An enthused revelry project itself. The track showcases a joyous celebration.
On the closer “Come Into My Bungalow,” dynamic numerating on the acoustic guitar starts off this song traced by the sound of trumpets. This is an energetic and sun-soaked track with catchy and melodic riffs, offering up a lounge and great jazzy flair. The sound is amped and fully charged. This is a real dance-worthy song. The infectious tunes make it a highlight. A beatific melody on the acoustic guitar pervades.
Edward’s vocals really take front and center in these polished tracks. He sings with range and power and I was really drawn to his dynamic vocals. Edward’s voice is impassioned and listeners will be carried away by the very ebb and flow of his vocals.
Like its namesake, The American Buffalo’s journey ripples across the American landscape through prairies, mountains and fields. Covering vast terrain, Reflections encompasses soundscapes that evoke the American catalog. From indie rock, pop, alt, lounge, blues and jazz, Reflections is an amalgam of the band’s influences. Referring to such folk legends like Nick Drake, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen as well as songwriters Jeff Buckley, David Bowie and Paul McCartney and nods to contemporaries like Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes, Reflections is a timeless record taking us back to the bare essentials. As Edward bares all with his emotional vocals and as the band members’ tight-knit chemistry coalesce with enraptured playing, this is a weighty record with sonic displays that soar with attention to detail and fine-tuned to appeal to audiences of the all above genres.
Inspired by rock n’ roll throughout the ages, the first half of Reflections contain songs that relish in a cool, smooth vibe with a jazzy flair while the latter consist of tracks that revolve around a retro-inspired air reminiscent of such acts like the Beatles and David Bowie. On this polished production, the band wears their heart on their sleeves with this heartfelt and warm record. Reflections showcases a whole lot of potential and I look forward to hearing more from the band.
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