Folly And The Hunter


Written by: TL on 24/03/2016 17:22:21

Folly And The Hunter are, unbeknownst to many perhaps, a noteworthy quartet of multi-instrumentalists from Montreal, who have already brought their airy yet organic brand of indie folk to Danish shores on more than one occasion. Most recently last year, in October, which was a bit of an odd choice, considering that the album they had put out that year would not be released over here until even more recently, specifically on this year on March 18th.

Regardless, we have now had the chance to catch up to the Canadians and sample the third album of light and euphonious folk from their hands, and similarly to the 2014 predecessor "Tragic Care", it's hard not to take an immediate measure of liking to them from the very first listen. They play a style that should appeal to fans of most popular folk artists, from Chris Carrabba's Twin Forks over mainstream names like Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters And Men and even Ed Sheeran. But mainly, though, Folly And The Hunter's sound leads your thoughts towards Band Of Horses and the hits that gave them a breakthrough, such as "The Funeral" and "Is There A Ghost", in large part due to the similar singing style of frontman Nick Vallee.

Compared to the other acts mentioned, however, this group stands apart by taking a more measured and delicate approach to composition, as opposed to your usual choices of either strictly acoustic folk or more up-tempo 'clap-hands-and-stomp-floor' moods. Piano, glockenspiel, electric bass, drums, four-part vocal harmonies, occasional horns and both electric and acoustic guitars are precisely arranged to set a compelling, interwoven - almost spiritual - ambiance, not unlike that of a band like Copeland. Which underlines the notion that you're listening to four individuals who play a number of different instruments each, and who enjoy switching them around playfully to create extremely pleasantly sounding movements and melodies.

The album consists of eleven tracks, among which the opener "Awake" and "Kill My Hope" likely make the most striking impact, perhaps due to a slightly higher quality of hooks, or perhaps just due to appearing early on the album. For one reason or the other, those and a track like "Duisburg" tug a bit more at the ear, while other numbers remain pleasant to listen to, yet do not feel as much like ones you'll single out for returning listens. A likely reason for this is that despite the record's pervasive euphony, it also persistently feels a bit poppy and complacent, routinely stopping short of transmitting a sense of emotional urgency or building into anything more dramatic.

Simply put, the band keeps things a bit too neat for much of the time, making it a nice break when Vallee injects a bit more energy in his vocals in the chorus to "Wreck It". Yet it's not that the band should break up their approach too much, it is after all what gives them their identity. But maybe expanding to also work with something more energetic or slightly more ambitious for a couple of tracks would help make an album like this feel a bit more dynamic, as opposed to now, where the main drawback is that the sense of mystery dissipates a bit as the songs start to feel cut from the same cloth, some with more success than others.


Download: Awake, Duisburg, Kill My Hope, Wreck It
For The Fans Of: Band Of Horses, Twin Forks, Of Monsters And Men, Dancing Years

Release date 18.03.2016

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