folk

Ship and Sail - From Seeds Review

Photography: Abby Recker

Photography: Abby Recker

A little fun, and also a little sad is the tagline from Ship & Sail’s Bandcamp - and the Michigan natives are definitely that. The melancholy, blissful mixture of Americana, Folk and Indie melt Ship & Sail down for listeners, they want you gooey, they want your right on the verge of knowing, experiencing. They are the haunting of our minds - from loss, from laughter, from sheer emotion. They bring to the table something I haven’t heard in a while, something that (sometimes) only bedroom pop bands can get right - but, we’ll save that for later.

Beginning from a song-writing exercise, Colin Haggerty (Vocals & Guitar) began Ship & Sail’s first EP, Even From A Dying Tree, The Worry Bird Sings. It has now grown into something that even Haggerty did not expect at first. Mixed and mastered by Doug Gallo at AGL Sounds in New Jersey, From Seeds is, according to Haggerty, “the most important release I’ve ever had and has been a blast to play live.” Since the release Ship & Sail has shared the stage with the likes of John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday, Straylight Run) and Breathe Owl Breathe, while also performing as a four-piece, a soon to be six-piece, and will also be doing a three-piece acoustic-folk outfit. All the while continuing to play solo.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Album Artwork by Brijana Bondy

Album Artwork by Brijana Bondy

From Seeds Tracklist:
1. Lynda
2. A Wish, A Lie
3. Fix
4. Windowsill
5. Bed to Stay
6. Hope
7. Call it Quits
8. Nails
9. Maggie
10. From Seeds



After the death of his Mother, Ship & Sail began comprising an album that moves slowly, irrigating every moment it encapsulates. From Seeds is the capsule in which they live - the album, an impressive full-length that breathes feeling and lyricism. Opening track, “Lynda” drops the listener immediately into the sound of a voice - familiar, but far away.

Haggerty’s sound is one that jostles against his instrumentals. The deep, gritty voice against a melodic, slow moving undertone creates an atmosphere that gives a sense of knowing. Ship & Sail want you to know what they’re thinking, because it’s things you’ve thought before, felt before, seen before. Love, longing, fear, anxiety - all topics that From Seeds touches upon, thoughtfully & fully aware. One track that really does this for myself, as a listener, is “Call It Quits.”

This album takes it’s time, and instinctively, it makes it feel hard to separate. I understand the necessity, the artistry, the wanting; however, 10-tracks that meditate around a similar sound that includes instrumentals, little variation in vocal performance, and lyricism (while beautiful poetic, and one of my favorite parts) it can feel lengthy and tired by completion. I wonder how I would feel about these tracks if, instead, they were layered throughout different compilations with tracks that bounced off of them, rather than swept them all together.

That being said, my favorite track is “A Wish, A Lie.” Arguably, the most upbeat track on the record, this track feels just right. The beat hits in the right spots with the lyrics, the twanging of the guitar makes it feel like a journey from beginning to end - and, that’s what it is. A journey, a moment of flurrying feelings. It felt sweet, sincere, and secure for a moment - as if the album could look upon it’s creator and say, “take a look, this is what we are!”

Again, the lyricism of this album is the strongest, hardest hitting aspect of From Seeds. The imagery, the methodology, the quickness of it all - like the severing of ties - hits hard. This album is for feeling, for being in the moment of feeling, and for appreciating how stinkin’ good a guitar sounds all by itself. Ship & Sail take their time to craft, to emote and be human. From Seeds will do the same, and for that I am thankful. It reminds me of rainy summer days where the ground is hot and steaming, and the sky is dark but, somehow, there is still pale yellow light all around you.

Moving forward, I am eager to see how Ship & Sail will sound with more members, with different tracks, ideas, emotions. This beginning is valid and important in solidifying a common ground between artist & listener, and now that we’re here - what’s next? I guess we’ll see! Until then, check out Ship & Sail’s social media links down below, and listen to From Seeds if you need a good album to feel things with!

Keep reading to find out more new & exciting stuff, and thanks for choosing The Hook!

Ship & Sail: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

**All biography information thanks to Brijana Bondy**

Architect the Destroyer - Tiny Thoughts Review

We're coming out of our hiatus to talk to you about Architect the Destroyer. You might remember Architect the Destroyer, aka Justin Genzo, from The Hook Journal's, The July EP where we featured "Cherry Wine," but if not, let us re-introduce you.

With a background in music, but never a clear place of belonging, Architect the Destroyer was born in early 2017 with an aim to hone in on the cross between indie, folk, & alternative. With the release of The Daisy EP in April 2017, Architect the Destroyer was really only preparing us for
what was to come - a sweet, heartfelt little wound that begs to be heard and paid attention to.

Tiny Thoughts is a 10-track debut album that features The Daisy EP favorites like "Cherry Wine," "Daisy," and "Bedroom Talk." The consistency of Tiny Thoughts is a cohesive, impressive debut for Architect the Destroy that has carved out a special place in my library for a discography as lovely as this.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Artwork: Thomas Louis

Artwork: Thomas Louis

Tiny Thoughts Tracklist:
1. Cherry Wine
2. We Are Stars
3. Paper Heart
4. Daisy
5. Bedroom Talk
6. Adventure
7. Oil & Water
8. Sleep
9. Golden
10. Birds

 

After listening to this album a few times over, I really was left with an overwhelming sense of fullness. Tiny Thoughts pushes listeners into uncomfortable spots without them ever knowing, tracks like "Paper Heart" or "Golden" that etch away at things you're trying to forget. Or maybe you're looking for the way to say that thing to someone you love, or used to love, or never loved at all even though it sure as hell felt like it - "Cherry Wine" or "Oil & Water" might make you feel more whole than before. 

Something that Architect the Destroyer is really good at is encapsulating smallness and making it as large as it seems when it's in our heads. Not only was I impressed by the production of this album, all of which completed by Genzo himself, but the lyricism and musicianship that accompanies it feels weighted and well thought out. Tiny Thoughts matters to the maker, and in turn it matters to the listener.

However, we're about to get real deep into track 8, "Sleep" so how about you stream it down below and we'll catch up with you after.

Is it on? Good.

"Sleep" is one of the most profoundly interesting and underwhelming tracks on the album at first glance. At over 8 minutes long, you may ask yourself what possibly could be happening that is 8 minutes long on this album? But, I recommend not dismissing this track in the slightest, as it truly felt like an embodiment of what Tiny Thoughts felt like as a whole. A dissonant, mellow track that clings onto every moment it exists within. It coddles you, it leaves you be, it gives you nothing to hold onto except for the echo of "sleep." 

Bottom line? This album is worth the listen. It's moving, it's fun, it makes you feel good. Tiny Thoughts is a beautiful addition to a year full of good music, and we're so happy Architect the Destroyer is here to add to that.

To keep up to date with everything they're up to, check out Architect the Destroyer's social media down below!

Architect the Destroyer: Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Orion Freeman - Morning Son Review

A singer/songwriter from the woods near Philadelphia, PA, Orion Freeman has recently release their brand new album, Morning Son. Their first release since 2014, Morning Son is a soft, folk inspired 9-track album that carries listeners through the journey of a childlike appreciation. 

Released April 24, 2017, Morning Son was produced by Orion Freeman, recorded (partially with the power of the sun) at Birchwood Studio in Granville, PA, mixed and mastered at Cambridge Sound Studios in Philadelphia, PA, mixed by Jim Salamone and Todd Mecaughey, with additional mixing by Orion Freeman, and mastered by Jim Salamone.

Orion Freeman had this to say about the release, “This second record of mine comes at a time of massive change in my world, and in the world around me. It represents a stripping down, a simplification, a return to the places i'm from and the emotions I've lived with. My first record was a tour-de-force, all-in attempt at encapsulating my entire existence up until that point- twenty seven musicians, strings and horns, over an hour of musical journeying, through the void and back. With Morning Son it felt super important for me to at least temporarily scale back, down to the base ingredients of voice and guitar, harmony, with sounds of everyday life peppered in, and just a select few other instruments to add to the overall texture and feel. It feels to me more like a single chapter this time around, as opposed to an entire book"

It began as simply an extended letter of gratitude and acknowledgment to the small child within my own self, who still felt like something was missing or had been left unsaid. I had no initial intentions of even having it professionally mixed. But what it became over the course of the recording sessions was something else entirely- a spotlight on certain emotions that in our culture don't often see the light of day; and in turn, an offering to those who may have (or still) feel the same way...”

Check out the tracklist below!

Morning Son Tracklist:
1. Farewell
2. Jesus in Denial
3. Flower in a Vase
4. Mourning Son
5. Icarus
6. Family Tree
7. Salvation (The Ballad of a Good Boy) 
8. Morning Sun
9. The Return

 

 

Morning Son is a 9-track album that features passionate lyrics and powerful instrumentals. It begins with “Farewell,” a thirty-second intro that includes seagull sounds and a short guitar chord that transitions seamlessly into “Jesus in Denial.” It’s slow, mellow, and calming, something to listen to when you’re contemplating life and doing some soul-searching. The songs on Morning Son feel like they should definitely be part of the soundtrack to an indie movie about a group of friends finding themselves and making precious memories together.

Morning Son makes me think of soft sunsets and warm breezes, nostalgia and deep feelings. It was really hard to decide what my favorite song was because I truly enjoyed them all, but I guess it really depends on which one impacted me the most.

They all flow on an emotional level for me.

The pretty, acoustic instrumentals and the soft vocals combined to create a powerful listening experience that took me away and had me deep in my feelings. But if I had to pick a single song to be my favorite, it would be track 5, “Icarus.” Maybe that’s because I’m such a fan of the Greek myth, but it’s also a great song. The lyric, “You can’t blame a man for chasing the sun” hit me hard.

My second favorite song is “Mourning Son,” not to be confused with “Morning Son,” which is the title track. “Mourning Son” is almost entirely instrumental, and songs like that really affect me more than others.

All in all, Morning Sun was a great album, and I’m a new fan of Orion Freeman. The album is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp, and you can follow Orion on social media for any updates from him!

Orion Freeman: Facebook // YouTube // Twitter // ReverbNation

Haunted Homes - Seance At The Shore Review

Some of The Hook's favorites are making their way back around with their newest releases and we couldn't be more stoked on it! Today we're talking about Haunted Homes, the spooky rock band that integrates entities of cosmic, country and spook all into one beautiful little EP. 

Seance At The Shore is Haunted Homes most recent EP and comes after their February release of "CoastGhost2Coast" and "Spooksville, USA." The 4-track EP follows suit, and addition to the sound that Haunted Homes is working with and perfecting. With this genre blending and nearly conceptual quintet, there's sure to be a song to jam out to on Seance At The Shore.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along.

Seance At The Shore Tracklist:
1. The Rattlesnake King
2. Vacation On The Dead Sea
3. Mischief Night
4. An Evening Of Magic

 

 

 

 

 

What I really dug about this album was the added surf rock elements that Haunted Homes incorporated to flesh out their already solid sound. This EP opens with "The Rattlesnake King" which is most reminiscent of the February 2-track EP. The dreamy, far away vocals fall against the mixed instrumental that fluctuates between spooky and desert. 

There wasn't much I didn't enjoy about this, it seems like a productive growth for Haunted Homes in carving out their own unique sound for listeners to latch onto. We're ready to follow them to the end! Check out a stream of our favorite track thanks to Bandcamp down below!

You can catch Haunted Homes in Philly on August 23rd at Ortliebs with The Whips/Petunia. In the meantime, check out this EP, and check out what Haunted Homes is up to via their social media. We really dug this one, so don't miss it!

Haunted Homes: Facebook // Instagram

Shawn and Kira - Unexpected Album Review

Out of West Chester, PA comes singer/songwriter duo Shawn and Kira. Shawn and Kira are a pop duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Shawn O'Donnell along with vocalist Kira Clements! The pair are celebrating the release of their debut EP, Unexpected, which dropped May 16th of this year!

The four track EP is a sweet, sensitive little diddy of a collection, one you definitely want to get your hands on this summer. Shawn & Kira are a duo that bring to life this beautiful fusion of singer/songwriter emotion, surf rock fun, and hints of jazz to keep it neat. 

Check out the tracklist below to keep up!

Unexpected Tracklist:
1. Unexpected
2. P.D.A. 03:35
3. You're My Shelter 03:25
4. Oh, The Places You'll Go! 03:37

 

 

 

 


Opening title track is the perfect 'hello' to listeners.

The fun, sensitive track drops listeners into the world that is Shawn and Kira. The duo bring together a romantic type of diddy into each of the tracks they bring forth. The instrumental background for all 4 tracks is strong, carrying the songs against the beating of the voices. Their voices juxtapose one another in an interesting way, some of which feels successful, and other of which I hoped for a bit more.

Tracks like "Unexpected" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go," feel strong for Shawn and Kira. The songs bookend the EP, which makes sense. Shawn's guitar highlights "Unexpected" with just the right amount of quirky come through. Kira's voice grounds the track in the thickness of her vocal addition. "P.D.A." and "You're My Shelter" felt the most incomplete to me on the EP. I wonder if Shawn and Kira could put some more work into tracks that would compliment not only their own voices, but the duo in a more productive way. 

Check out our EP favorite, "Unexpected," below!

Overall, this sweet lil' EP has tons to offer and you should definitely check it out. To keep up with Shawn and Kira, check out their social media down below, and as always thanks for reading!

Shawn and Kira: Website // YouTube // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Canyon Ride - Wasting Time With Ghosts Review

Canyon Ride have taken quite the journey to get to their debut EP release, and we’re so excited to be able to celebrate the end of that adventure with them! With hints of Americana, rock and country music to inspire them, you’re sure to find a track you’re into while listening to debut EP, Wasting Time With Ghosts!

The 5-track EP is the culmination of months of hard work perfecting the lineup and sound that Canyon Ride wanted to emulate. Canyon Ride consists of Kelly Derrig (vocals), Cam Clark (guitar/harmonica/banjo), Ryan Kosinski (bass), and Chris DeSaye (drums/supporting vox), and the lady led band is leaving it’s mark with their unique vintage rock and roll sound combined with the slow, sweet voice from Derrig.

Check out the tracklist below!

Wasting Time With Ghosts Tracklist: 
1. High Tide
2. Satisfied
3. Holding Thy Own
4. Winter Drums
5. Tennessee

 

 

 

 

This EP was more reminiscent of country than any of the other genres that they had suggested, with hints of folk and Americana in the instrumentals, Derrig’s voice is most definitely inspired by a more feminine country heart. The haunting aspects of this EP make it one that feels along with the listener. Tracks like “Satisfied” and “Tennessee” are impactful and important for the base in which Canyon Ride is trying to formulate their own standing and place in their scene.

There are a few things about this EP that could definitely benefit from Canyon Ride continuing to hone their sound and skills as a collective. In spots Derrig’s voice doesn’t feel supported by the instrumental background, both in that the guitar/bass seem like they want to be more rock influenced, and Derrig’s voice seemingly is automatically a more Americana/country style. I was impressed by this EP for it’s sheer momentum and need for being. It holds it’s own and represents a solid band that is new, but definitely a force to be reckoned with.

I look forward to Canyon Ride finding their footing and progressing above and beyond Wasting Time With Ghosts. As artists we all must continuously get better to achieve our greatest selves, and I have no doubt in Canyon Ride accomplishing this.

To keep up with the band, check out their social media below, and definitely check out Wasting Time With Ghosts so you don’t miss a single beat!

Canyon Ride: Website // Facebook // Instagram

Lazarus Wilde – Breathe Now Review

Singer-songwriter Kenny Collette, operating under the name Lazarus Wilde, has released a brand new album called Breathe Now. Breathe Now is his second solo release, following a self-titled EP.

Previously, Kenny Collette has worked with other bands over the years, but Lazarus Wilde is a creative solo endeavor that allows him to branch out on his own and explore his personal boundaries and experiences through his music. Breathe Now was released earlier this year in April, and contains eight soulful tracks that really give listeners an idea of who Lazarus Wilde is and what he wants to accomplish with his music. 

Check out the tracklist below!

  1. Soul Eater
  2. Between Bridges
  3. So Don’t Try
  4. Swallow & The Pills
  5. Gray Station
  6. Robot Stripper Party
  7. Breathe Now
  8. --____--
     

 
 

 

Breathe Now is an acoustic album, and the first track is “Soul Eater.” It starts off strong with a fantastic guitar chord that serves as a great introduction to the album, and sets the tone for the rest of the songs. The vocals in “Soul Eater” are haunting, and Collette’s voice has a distinctive indie sound that makes him fit right in with other popular artists. The melodies in all his songs are beautifully done, and I love the way he harmonizes.

Since this is an acoustic album, the vocals are a bit more important than usual in order to give the stripped-down instrumentals more impact, and Lazarus Wilde does it perfectly. An acoustic album is only done right when the vocals and the guitar mesh well together, and Breathe Now is a great example of that. Lazarus Wilde has real talent, and it shows. 
 
There isn’t a song on Breathe Now that I didn’t like.

Each one of them is unique, but they all flow effortlessly together and blend to create an entirely pleasing listening experience. My personal favorite is “Between Bridges,” closely followed by the closing song, “--____--.” I’m gonna refer to it as Track 8 to make it easier, since how are you supposed to pronounce that title? But despite the title, Track 8 is one of those sad songs that packs an emotional punch (and boy, do I love me some sad music). I feel like it’s a song you might hear during a scene in a movie that’s supposed to make you cry. Unlike the other songs on Breathe Now, it has a piano accompaniment alongside the guitar and vocals, and right from the start, I loved it. It’s a great number to end on, too. 
 
I give Breathe Now a solid 5 stars, and I’m definitely looking forward to more releases from Lazarus Wilde in the future. Breathe Now is available for streaming and purchase, and follow Lazarus Wilde on social media for any upcoming announcements.

Lazarus Wilde: Facebook

The Tisburys - Crooked Roads Review

We're slowing it down today, and we're enjoying it. As the weather gets warmer, and we spend more time getting sunburnt, we're listening to The Tisbury's, and their January release, Crooked Roads!

The EP is a three track diddy that is a feel good mashup of rock and Americana folk - I mean we've got piano, an organ, handclaps, and even flutes on this little EP! The Tisburys' wanted to pack a punch, and here at The Hook we're really into Crooked Roads! So, let's get you caught up, here's a little back story: The Tisburys (fka Tisbury Obama) originated as an acoustic duo that was formed in the suburbs of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 2012 by singer-songwriter Tyler Asay.

After years of playing in the coffee shops, the band has evolved and expanded into a full band playing loud and experimental folk-rock with Americana influences. The band is currently based in Philadelphia, where they released their EP, Crooked Roads.

Check out the tracklist below!

Cover Art: Marty Sweeney 

Cover Art: Marty Sweeney 

Crooked Roads EP Tracklist:
1. Crooked Roads
2. Heart Of Chrome
3. The Fallows 06:18

 

 

 

 

 

Released on January 27th, Crooked Roads was produced, mixed, and mastered by Justin Nazario. The compilation includes artists and band members alike including Tyler Asay: vocals, guitar, handclaps, Matt Montella (Drums, additional percussion), Zac Barnes(Bass), Ethan Stauffer (Piano & organ on tracks 1, 2, and 3, as well as lead guitar on track 3), Justin Nazario (Lead guitar on tracks 1 and 2), Kathleen Pearlberg (flute on track 3, handclaps on track 1), Dan Nazario (Additional drums and percussion on track 1), and Matt Schenkel (Handclaps on track 1).

Crooked Roads is an impressive EP - each track is seemingly different, but equally share valuable space on the EP. Opening title track, "Crooked Roads" jumpstarts the listening experience, giving a valuable taste as to what is to come. In our opinion, humble as it may be, "Crooked Roads" boasts the most folk-y vibes out of the EP - this is the song that sports the organ, and of course some intense hand-clapping. "Heart of Chrome," and "The Fallows" are definitely more Rock & Roll-esque™. Equally as groovin' as "Crooked Roads" this entire EP exudes a fun, unabashed front. 

This is a quick EP, with "The Fallows" clocking in at a little over six minutes - but it's definitely an easy collection to play on repeat, without it sounding repetitive. The Hook gives it a thumbs up and a huge YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS shoutout! If you dig it, keep up with The Tisburys on their social media, that way you never miss any of the action!

The Tisburys: Facebook // Bandcamp // Twitter