'Blooming Through The Black' opens with 'Stronger,' a slow-burner that begins as an acoustic folk number and builds to an electrified tumult. It's a showcase for their instrumental prowess, lyrical chops, and unbridled passion, and it's just the start. The title track—inspired by the sight of the first flowers growing back in the forest fire- charred landscape of Hell Canyon, South Dakota—finds Freeman blending punk energy with earnest sincerity in his delivery, while "Across Your Mind" rides a feel-good groove driven by bassist Harrison Goodale and drummer Erik Hischman, and "Water Through A Mill" ebbs and flows like a solemn hymn on top of Max Shakun's meditative pump organ.
As the band explored the quirks and eccentricities of the factory, unexpected sounds and moments sometimes became permanent fixtures of the songs, but a particularly happy accident occurred outside the studio entirely, when Shakun called mandolin player Antonio Alcorn for help setting up his new record player. Upon dropping the needle somewhere in the middle of a copy of 'Poor Old Shine,' they discovered it was spinning backwards, but the melody coming out of the speakers was perhaps even more of an infectious earworm than it was when played forward. They brought the new riff to the rest of the band, where it morphed into "The Ties That Bind Us," a stand-out foot-stomper and a highlight of their live show.
Catch Parsonsfield onstage any night and the band's joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they've been doing this together all their lives. That's because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice. And with an album this thrilling, it's only a matter of time before you share their same enthusiasm.
Listen closely at the top of "Don't Get Excited" and you'll hear the clatter of a cyclist crossing the rickety bridge over the river. That's the sound of Parsonsfield inviting you into the axe factory. It's time to begin 'Blooming Through The Black.' Good luck not getting excited.
ANIMAL YEARS -
"Mark my words, you will be singing these tracks after only one round through this album." - VIOLENT SUCCESS
Brooklyn’s Animal Years bring a fresh face to Americana Rock. With influences ranging from early Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket, Young The Giant, The Avett Brothers, Animal Years is driven by Mike McFadden’s crisp vocals and magnetic poise, featured on their debut record, Sun Will Rise, released on May 6th, 2014. They are currently in the studio with Ryan Hadlock who produced platinum selling album The Lumineers and will be releasing their next full length in 2017.
Mike McFadden (lead vocals, guitar, and banjo) is backed by Anthony Saladino (bass) and Anthony Spinnato (drums). Since the band formed in 2013, they've sold out shows at esteemed venues like Gramercy Theatre, Brooklyn Bowl (NY) and LA's Hotel Cafe, and have opened for major headlining acts including Bronze Radio Return and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. In 2014, the band's music video for "Forget What They're Telling You," which featured Bailey Noble of HBO's "True Blood," was premiered by Conan O'Brien's blog Team Coco.
Free-wheeling, feel-good melodies and smooth ringing guitars shine on Sun Will Rise. From the glorious opening track and first single, “Meet Me” to rockabilly closer, “Walking Slow,” the quartet delivers indie rock with grace. Title track “Sun Will Rise” blossoms with country/folk tinges, and dancy “Forget What They’re Telling You” crescendos with impassioned vocals and guitar strums. Sun Will Rise showcases the delicacy and introspection behind songwriting and draws on the strengths of McFadden’s seasoned voice and multi-instrumental abilities.