Adrian + Meredith is a duo that you can easily label as Americana, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, that broad label doesn’t even begin to do justice to the sound they create. It is Americana – filtered through punk, jazz, and other diverse styles.
Bad for Business is the duo’s second album following More than a Little in 2016. With the new album, Adrian + Meredith continue to push the boundaries of Americana with songs that keep you guessing.
At the beginning of “Even,” you can definitely hear some similarities to Legendary Shack Shakers. Then, as the song progresses, you hear some saxophone that brings Morphine to mind. It would be enough for a band to incorporate swamp folk and moody indie rock into one song. However, with this album, it is just an indication of the ride that is to come.
The title track has frantic energy and a sound reminiscent of Squirrel Nut Zippers. This song features horn blasts and fiddle on top of a beat that is sure to get you stomping your feet. You can also hear some sustained pedal steel in the background, which is different than the rest of the melody but doesn’t seem out of place. “Hungover Eyes” is another song that is reminiscent of Squirrel Nut Zippers. The horns and fiddle give the song an old-time jazz feel while the pedal steel adds a distinct country sound.
“Kids These Days” is further evidence that you just don’t know what to expect next as you listen to this album. It begins with the sound foot percussion. From there, you hear accordion and fiddle, which give the melody a sort of Cajun sound. Meanwhile, the bass line and trumpet bring a Latin feel to an already complex song. As if that weren’t enough, you also hear some baritone sax that brings a swinging jazz component to the mix. Chances are pretty good that you won’t hear many songs quite like this one.
While the melodies grab the attention, this band also shows it has a way with words. “Chalk” has some lyrics that will get you thinking. It begins with the lyrics, “The rain falls equally on everyone.” It seems like we kind of lose sight of that simple fact sometimes. The chorus contains the clever lyrics, “When the world redraws the map, I hope they use chalk.” Even if you’re not a songwriter, it’s the kind of line you wish you had thought of.
From an Americana sound throughout the album to the gypsy jazz of “Who Stole the Keishka?”, Adrian + Meredith show themselves to be delightfully unpredictable. Each song is different from the last. It seems like a variety show as much as an album. Bad for Business will be available everywhere on August 20. Order your copy here.
Adrian Krygowski – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Meredith Krygowski – Vocals, Fiddle, Foot Percussion
Paul Niehaus – Pedal Steel, Electric Guitar
Mark Robertson – Bass
Aaron Shafer-Haiss – Drums, Organ, Percussion
Fats Kaplin – Banjo, Accordion
Ken Francis Wenzel – Baritone and Tenor Saxophone
Diego Vasquez – Trombone
Robert M. Gay – Trumpet
Mallorie McRea – Backing Vocals
Tracked in Nashville, TN at The Yacht Shop
Produced & Mixed by: Mark Robertson
Engineered by: Aaron Shafer-Haiss
Additional engineering by: Mark Robertson
Mastered by: Ken Love
Artwork: Lauren Smith
Additional Graphic Design: Emily Short
Photography: Melissa Greenwood