Being Buffalo – Start the Fire EP

An EP has to be pretty exceptional for me to devote a review to it. Usually I prefer to give the “hey check this out” quick mention in the context of another post. But from first listen of Being Buffalo you will hear why they deserve this coverage. They are incredible. From full harmonies to catchy hooks, this is clearly a band that demands we take notice. They are not just another part of the rising pop folk consciousness; rather, they are defining a new angle with their own distinct artistry. Have a listen.

Reminding me a bit of the Rend Collective, a popular folk worship group, this band captures an air of positivity. “Feels Like Home,” the opener of the EP, has an anthemic sound throughout. It has listeners singing along with the rhythmic and repetitive lyrics, yet has an affect seldom captured in similar “pop” songs. It’s really stunning.

Speaking of stunning, the second track on the EP is “Wake Me Up.” Since it was the first song I heard of the album and this band, I have to admit it really did “wake me up” to a new kind of music. The layered vocal blending is actually better in studio than reality could ever be. Yet, in doing that, it doesn’t have the fabricated characteristic of so much music in the marketplace today. Instead, these remarkably talented musicians have found a way to embrace and display the truly organic nature of their music. The lyrics and music aren’t complex, but they are huge. The sound grows in the track, conjuring up images of massive groups of people from the olden days of British history, chanting around fire circles, expressing hope in one another.

The third track “Anselm” has a bit more of the neo-folk sound that has been made popular on both sides of the Atlantic of late. Again the large-group vocals are characteristic of the band’s sound. But what makes “Anselm” so good is a unique melody line. The lyric, “I wish you well” which crescendos with delight in the middle of the song, makes the whole thing click.

The closing “I will hold you” is a love song of truly epic proportions. It has that subtle-yet-building opener that gets my eyes sparkling. I can feel that it’s going to grow into a massive powerhouse of a song. It does not disappoint. Layered harmonies and a driving bass drum provide the escort through the track. When the full band crashes down utilizing a full guitar sound and strong anthemic melody, the listener gets those up-the-back-of-your-neck chills that, frankly, is why we love music.

Sometimes an EP is a treasure in and of itself, but sometimes it’s just a tease that makes us crave more from a band. This is absolutely the latter. I can’t wait to hear more from this band. They are a truly bright light in the music nightscape at present. If this album “starts the fire” I truly can’t wait to watch it blazing full. This is a must own for fans of 21st century pop folk music.

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