Album Review: The Parachute Brigade – Gold EP

The Parachute Brigade were one of those bands that kind of snuck up on me. They have a nice, enjoyable folk rock sound that seemed enjoyable at first, but the more I listened I fell for their sound even more. Here’s a closer look at their 2018 release Gold.

The opening title track “Gold” has some common folk rock elements from the guitar, piano, and vocal harmonies. But there’s a contemporary swing that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a folk rock vibe that fits somewhere between Tom Petty and the Lumineers, but doesn’t quite sound like anyone specific. That’s what makes it such a good start to the album.

“Carry You Along” has an energy that reminds me a bit of the Head and the Heart. That’s intentionally high praise. There’s a space between the vocal and the acoustic guitar that I absolutely love. The atmospheric element in the composition allows the harmony to cut through perfectly. I would love to sing along to this one live some day. It’s dreamy.

“Wanderer (Hold)” feels like the quintessential modern folk song. The layers of acoustic, strings, keys, and harmonies all serve something that feels greater than the sum of its parts. I particularly enjoy that the vocalists take turns on this one. It gives the different sections of the song their own character.

The penultimate track “Til I See Stars” gets your toes tapping along with the moving beat. I appreciate the way the vocal sits in the mix, prominent enough to hear and understand but also allowing the harmony and larger band to enter. It’s really a feel-good Mumford and Sons kind of song that will have to singing along in no time. The duo harmonies around the 1:20 mark are some of the best vocals on the whole album.

The final track “Old Pond (Live)” shows the energy this band has live. I haven’t been there yet to hear them, but I hope to some day. Also, I hope that when I finally get a chance to hear them the crowd will be smart enough to stop talking and listen to these poetic folk artists perform. I think if I could only play one song from The Parachute Brigade to explain what I love about their sound, it would be this one. The fact that this is a live version and the harmonies are this good tells you all you need to know about this exceptional band.

I will be watching for The Parachute Brigade’s full release soon. The talent is absolutely stunning. Maybe some day I’ll get to hear them live and squeeze in an interview. It would be an honor.

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