Artist: The Accidental
Album: There Were Wolves
Comments: The ending of summer brings an onslaught of changing temperatures, school, and work. While it stinks returning to normal life and leaving the summer behind, there is a lovely remedy; blissful folk music. The Accidental's new release There Were Wolves is the perfect soundtrack for the season changing blues. This folky album easily takes you from the carefree summer months to the more serious sweater-wearing fall. The Accidentals have the ability to tame any beast, even the wolves out there.
Before I start to review the album, I want to put out a disclaimer: (Thank god) There Were Wolves is NOT a boring album. This is not the folk your great grandparents grew up with, which only needed good lyrics, a sad man, and a guitar. No, instead, its some British twentysomethings folking the party.
There Were Wolves kicks off with “Knock, Knock,” a boy/girl sing-song that allows for delicate feminine and masculine touches. Onomatopoeia is used quite impressively in the song. This literary technique helps to make up the majority of the song. Words like “knock” and “ring” are slowly recited in the background as bandleader Sam Genders sings “You broke my legs and you asked me to stay.” A handclap and a softly strummed guitar give added texture to the subdued vocals.
The best thing about Wolves has to be the lyrics. The Accidental does not stray from the simple folk formula, but they add in their own personality. Because of this, their lyrics turn out good, well-written, and colorful, painting lovely visual portraits of pretty things.
“Wolves” is another good example of the previous statement. This track personifies a fairytale, slightly resembling a more mature Little Red Riding Hood, but at the same time taking on real-life situations; talking about a man who wants to do something about a girl, but only has grimy liquid confidence. Genders, The Accidental’s storyteller extraordinaire, sings “She was dancing in a neon cave with a tilted smile and a lover's laugh,” about the Little Red of the situation, as the “wolves” “drink their beer from plastic glasses 'til they find the words to make the first move.”
Even near the end of the album, the tunes still play out to be solid.
The love-longing “The Closer I Am” and the softly apocalyptic “Illuminated Red” are both nice closers to this debut album.
In Wolves it is easy to see how inspirational The Accidental is as a band. Everything seems to be performed with the slightest of ease and comes out sounding great and totally professional. In each track, the band has obvious general strengths, like the lyrics and vocal pairings. Overall, Wolves is a nice folky album with legitimate lyrics and humble music ensembles. However, after listening to the album, I felt there could have been more room for experimentation. They already had existing talent; they just needed to cultivate it a bit more. That would have been nice to hear.
But, besides that, there aren’t any other cons to There Were Wolves besides occasional over-simplicity. This album should be everyone’s soundtrack to the changing seasons.
-Erin Mae Srainkowski
Rating: 6 out of 10
Key Tracks: Knock, Knock , and The Closer I Am
Buy, Skip, Steal: Buy