Album Review: Steamboats – Self Titled EP
I love finding EPs for bands that are superbly talented. It means that there’s more to come. Steamboats are the kind of band that I really love because they have all of the elements of success. The songwriting is legit, the harmonies are to die for, and they seem to be doing everything right so far. Check out this short EP of theirs.
The opener “Still as the Night” sounds like something from St. Paul de Vence (maybe it’s the accordion?) and a barbershop quartet put together. The harmonies on this track are at a completely different level than most folk music today. It’s so tight and soothing, it kind of sounds like church music, but it’s a romance song. This is a fantastic track. (Enjoy the totally understated string solo for the bridge. So sweet!)
“Stay” has a beautiful fingerpicking intro and a cool solo vocal. As the tempo of the song picks up, it really begins to feel like an adventure. The lead vocal even takes an almost Coldplay-esque melody. The atmospheric harmonies are incredible. Seriously the Beach Boys would be impressed by this album.
The following “Five More Miles” has more of a pure folk feel to it. Again the harmonies are stellar. Hidden beneath it all is a “to die for” bass. There’s a different lead vocal on this one, more of a baritone style, that really works well with the track. It’s far more mellow across the board. It would fit comfortably with something by Otis Redding. It adds to the versatility of these musicians and singers, for sure. It’s an easy to listen to track. The chorus “just five more miles to go and I’ll try not to let my weakness show” sounds like it could have come right off of an Eagles album.
The final track “Only My Hope” comes way too soon, but it’s definitely the single for the album. Holy smokes can these guys SING! Seriously stunning work. And then the strings come in and you’re like “aww, this is adorable,” too. It’s a song about passion and desire written with tenderness and sincerity. That’s all conveyed perfectly in lyrics and musical delivery. It’s an amazing track. Give it a listen (yes, right now).
I don’t think it’s possible to like four songs more than I like these. Even though it came out in late 2014 I might just put it on my best of 2015 list. It’s that good. I love everything about this. The compositions are great, the vocals are exceptional, and they just frankly ought to have more attention. How incredible! Seriously go out and buy this album yesterday. It’s one of the best EPs I’ve ever heard. Ever.