Son Volt – Electro Melodier (Thirty Tigers)
With a variety of line-up changes throughout the years, Son Volt continues to mine the same rich landscape of dust bowl Americana while building on this time honored tradition with the spit and fire that comes with an electrified outlook. With Jay Farrar at its heart, Son Volt leans into his solemn baritone as it evokes quiet reflection on modern life’s trials and tribulations.
On Electro Melodier this takes the form of more overt indictment of modern America than on previous efforts – Farrar is direct, pointed, but there is still poetry mixed with hope in his protestation; see “Someday is Now” and “These Are the Times.”
“When you fade into a melody, your mind is lost in reverie” announces Farrar over a blast of electric guitars that jangle with barely contained energy that draws the listener deep into Son Volt’s landscape from the first moments of Electro Melodier as “Reverie” jumps and pulls with Farrar’s signature dynamics. “Lucky Ones” finds Farrar embracing an unexpected optimism. He sings, “Life is good with you around, the weight of the world is nowhere to be found.”
“War on Money” and “Living in the USA” show of Farrar’s signature indictment of capitalisms wrong turns. “I’ve been thinking that it is time to declare … a war on misery,” Farrar muses over a slow blues slog. “They say freedom is a natural thing, from cradle to grave show the world what’s at stake, a higher purpose walks these streets all around in a sea of noise it’s still there but it’s tuned out, living in the USA,” Farrar sings like a accolade of the Boss. He continues to question, “Where is the heart of days of old? Where’s the empathy? Where’s the soul? Living in the USA, living in the USA.”
On “Sweet Refrain” a mix of piano and pedal steel lift Farrar’s acoustic guitar on a cloud of sound reminiscent of early Son Volt arrangements. Drift away with Farrar and company on this “Sweet Refrain” and scoop a copy of Electro Melodier, featuring Jay Farrar, Mark Spencer, Chris Fame and Andrew DuPlantis, today.