New York folk quintet, O’Death, are set to release their new album on Monday 6 June. This crazy and melodic fusion of new folk and old folk has been given the name, Outside.
Blending traditional elements of folk with new unusual sounds, this album has everything anyone could ever want.
The howling yet soothing vocals of Greg Jamie are bone-tingling. The strong banjo melodies and thudding drum beats are breath taking. Everything about this album is fantastic.
Now this may have something to do with the fact that the band were allowed freedom from their producer and engineer, Billy Pavone, with this. They took to writing in the studio as well as creating the album in the recording, not afterwards in the mix. This gives the songs the rawness and ragged layers which they truely deserve. It’s nothing like anything out at the moment. It’s not clean cut, polished or auto-tuned, it’s what music should be and that’s expressive and un-cut.
Track two, Ghost Head, is a melodic tune combining traditional folk techniques such as the emphasised banjo with a strong beat allowing for easy listening. This song is catchy – the music is upbeat yet the vocals are hauntingly dark but it’s definitely one you will remember.
Alamar, track three, is another fantastic song on the album. Stripping back on the music to uncover some severe lyrics and dark bass tones, it reveals their new sound entirely. Alamar is clever in the way the folk focus is splashed with rock elements highlighting the tense side to their music.
Another favourite has to be Ourselves. The plainness of the banjo at the beginning with the basic marching drum beat against the emotional vocals is heaven. But before it becomes too plain, the chorus comes in with lyrics that are extremely memorable. This track is quite calm compared to others on the album but is a welcome addition. However, near the end, the craziness returns with some fantastic rock-inspired folk solos to end on.
Without giving too much away, there are some other brilliant tracks including Howling Through which brings them back to their haunting and disturbing nature. Pushing Out and Back Of The Garden are two other tracks well worth repeated listenings.
O’Death have done something completely different with this album. Leaving in the rawness has given them a chance to show everything behind them and their music. Who knew folk could be adapted so much without losing its roots? O’Death are set to release one of the best albums of the year without a doubt.