GENRE | FOLK ROCK WITH A SIDE OF SAD
VERDICT | GO LISTEN ON THE MOUNTAIN
LABEL | ATO RECORDS
RELEASE | 9.4.12
We’re in the heyday of neo-folk, and Two Gallants have certainly earned their anachronistic place in it with The Bloom and the Blight, an ensemble of bluesy arrangements that proves the West-Coast duo can go from melodic to thrash-ful and back again in a matter of seconds.
The vocals of Adam Stephens are gritty enough to bring to mind visions of wooden teeth soaked in beer, but melodic enough to sing maidens of the forest to sleep.
Like any good folk-ish album, the harmonica is brought in from its perch atop the heavens to serenade the listener. Also like any good folk-ish album, The Bloom and the Blight doesn’t waste too much time on songwriting pretension. Lyrically, the album is honest. Listen to love-laced ode “Song of Songs” or impatient anthem “My Love Won’t Wait” for examples. But the album also often treads on morbid ground: “Sleep upon my shoulder / With a bullet in your side.”
Somber sometimes and crunchy almost always, Two Gallants is ideal for the anti-dubstep nation and its emotional, yodeling brethren.