Album Review: My Politic – Anchor
My Politic have just the kind of folksy sound that brings comfort to the soul. They use traditional folk instrumentation and style to make for a delightful overall sound. The best part of the new album Anchor is the string parts and traditional feeling.
“Before It’s Too Late” has a prominent stand up bass, banjo, and of course vocals. The string parts work nicely to create a feeling of desperation. “This town is a black hole; too many women cursing my name.” It’s a sort of working class anthem about moving on. It reminds me of the old country song, “All My Exes Live in Texas,” but more serious.
Kaston Guffey’s lead vocal is just perfect for the genre. As he sings over the strings on “God or Evolution” it’s immediately apparent that he’s been a part of this type of music for a long time. There’s a time-tested quality to the compositions on this album. The use of metaphor on this track about physical creation and psychological realities is quite deep. “There’s probably someone going through much worse in a different state.” It’s complicated, but worth talking about, if even in song.
The opening guitar line on “Ways of Love” is one of my favorite parts on the whole album. There’s something about a finely-picked guitar that just rings the truth of folk music. The track takes on a bit of a different ethos with what sounds like a synthesizer. The following “Heartless” features the banjo prominently. It’s got a bit more attitude to it both in rhythm and minor chords. It’s about a difficult season in a relationship.
“Nobody to Blame” is about addiction. “I’m just another hopeless case with nobody to blame.” It’s a really tragic song about someone fighting addiction. The saddest part of the song is that we can all connect with people in this position. The band made a great decision to keep it a stripped-down song. While it is a pretty traditional folk song in its instrumentation, it shows how the genre can carry timeless truth, even in somewhat contemporary subject matter.
“Civil War Song” is, unsurprisingly, based on the context of the American Civil War. It has a wonderfully crisp fingerpicking intro before a harmonized main line. There are quite a few Civil War based puns in a song mostly about a relationship. The violin harmonies are really nicely done. While the semantic imagery is there, the parallel between a romantic relationship and a real civil war of over 720,000 deaths seems a bit of a stretch.
The title track “Anchor” ends the album nicely. It’s got a nice beat and remains true to folk music. Again I’d say the stand up bass steals the show. The drums sound good on this one, too, getting our dancing feet moving. It’s a nice, lighter “just live your life” feel that ends the album. My Politic would do well to pursue more of this sound.
It’s an enjoyable folk album. Fans of traditional folk songwriting and acoustic singer songwriters will enjoy this one.