Click to hear: “Seven Suns”
Old Soul is an intriguing indie-folk trio that recently released its eponymous debut full-length album. Truth be told, my tolerance for contemporary folk, indie or otherwise, is quite limited. Old Soul managed to keep me listening through all nine tracks, and I now find myself playing it again and again.
Singer/guitarist Mike O’Herir has an easygoing, slightly breathy voice than wins you over right away, but it’s the arrangements that keep you coming back. Bassist Danielle Savage, who harmonizes behind him, and drummer Brendan Shea are joined by three guest musicians whose organ, piano and horn parts give these songs an enchanting extra dimension.
My favorite cut is “Seven Suns,” a hazy psych-folk song bolstered by electric guitar lines worthy of The Feelies. “Red & Gold” ambles along acoustically with a banjo in the background, then rises gracefully into a chorus that’s pure gold. By the time the horns begin to swell, you’re hooked. It’s beautiful. Hearing the old-timely orchestration on songs like “Thick As Thieves,” you’ll think you’ve checked into Neutral Milk Hotel.
In a band bio posted on Kickstarter to help raise the money to make this album, O’Herir describes how he moved back to Maine from Brooklyn in late 2009; fell in love with his old friend, Savage; and how the two of them spent a summer “crafting folky gypsy-blues songs” in an old barn, then circled the country in an old Buick playing those songs and promoting their demo EP. Like the Cowboy Junkies’ Trinity Session, Old Soul has the feel of a recording that captures the sound of a band realizing just how good they can be.
In this case, damn good.
— Chris Busby
For more Old Soul, visit oldsoulmusic.net.