Music Review | the lone bellow
The Lone Bellow (lead singer and songwriter Zach Williams, singer and mandolin player Kanene Dohehey Pipkin, and singer/guitarist Brian Elmquist) is going to have a good year. Billboard named them one of the 13 Artists to Watch in 2013. Relevant Magazine said the Lone Bellow is "THE Band to Know in 2013." Even Paul Krugman, known more for his economic prowess than his musical tastes, included the Lone Bellow on his blog the Conscience of a Liberal. They are on the rise, there's no doubt.
They refer to their music as "Brooklyn Country Music" and "country-soul" which, I suppose, is a sub-genre of a broader country/folk style. Though that might be pigeon-holing them a bit. Listening through the album, you're bound to hear equal parts folk, roots rock, and even tinges of classic country and western which manifests in beautiful three-part harmonies, catchy choruses, and some quality acoustic entertainment. They're not Mumford & Sons or the Avett Brothers. They're different, though they could share a stage. They have carved for themselves something unique and beautiful. They reside at the closest intersection of Lady Antebellum and the Lumineers but show a deeper understanding of classic country and western than either of the other groups.
From what I read, their rise mimics fellow Charlie Peacock-produced band the Civil Wars. For the Civil Wars, it started when the two members met each other at a songwriting camp and found that they had an amiable energy when composing songs together. For the Lone Bellow, it started in Brooklyn, New York in a diner.
Like the finest in folk and country/western, the Lone Bellow sing sad songs. Songs of break-ups, let downs, and even despair. It's a beautiful piece of Americana this early in 2013. I love any kind of emotion in a song as long as I can believe it when the band sings it. I believe the Lone Bellow.
I'm really liking this album. It's not an album for every emotion, but it does what it does well. I'd give a listen if I was you.