Small Tales

Written by: HES on 29/12/2014 04:46:27

"Small Tales" is very much the correct description of the newest EP from folk rockers Accents made up by TJ Foster, Jordan Stewart and Lauren Foster (nee. Alexander). The band recently also released a full-length album "Tall Tales" hence the play with words in the name of the now-released EP. My colleagues at this magazine have compared them to everything from Death Cab for Cutie to Of Monsters and Men, but most fittingly for the sound of this album is: Mumford & Sons.

Most of the songs of the album are very well-composed which was also a general positive on the band's previous records. The overall soundscape is warm, melancholic but overall positive - I'd say the band is leaning quite heavily towards the recent rise of country sound in folk rock. The finger-played guitar is characterizing the EP as well as a pretty straight-forward bass/drum rhythm section. Vocals are provided by both members, but generally the male Foster takes the lead and Lauren backs him up. In general that's an okay choice, but honestly the choice also borderlines the flat and uninteresting part of country. On top of that, Foster has a very country-inclined voice, very throaty and wholesome. Now this is a matter of taste of course, but in my eyes these choices makes the sound more generic than it needed to be.

"Down Down Down" is the high point of the album - a cheerful song with a good momentum and an absolutely brilliant horn solo. The absolute low point is "For Now" that is uncharacteristically ill-composed with cheesy lyrics. In the background the "oh oh's" just add to the weirdly sombre 90's vibe. I think I even hear the slight scratch of a nu metal-record somewhere in the back. The track sticks out as a sore thumb on an EP with only 5 songs.

Overall, Small Tales is a decent EP, but I am having a hard time understanding what the band really wanted with it. They released their latest full album in May 2014 and already now they're releasing these songs. To me it seems that either the band had a few spare songs, in which case I'd say the level is pretty high for it being comprised of "voted out" songs. Otherwise it would seem the band is testing out some waters before they go in to record their 3rd studio album. I sincerely suggest they stay with the "Down Down Down"-sound and forget about venturing into a country/90s rock fusion endeavour.

Download: Down, Down, Down; Underwater; Settle Down Instead
For the fans of: Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Dear And The Headlights
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.11.2014
Deep Elm Records

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