It’s easy to be taken back by nostalgia in today’s world. However, these two albums take the listener back to a simpler time and remind us that music was, is, and always will be, there to comfort us through thick and thin.
Songs of friendship, doubt and carrying on through tough times are found in these albums, written by artists who genuinely care about their music and are willing to share their experiences with their listeners.
Following the first wave of the unique genre of folk punk created between the late 1990s and mid-2000s, kids across the U.S. heard the sounds and heeded the call. They took to their lo-fi microphones and recorded their own versions of the instant classics by the Moldy Peaches, Defiance Ohio and countless others.
Returning in that same spirit, Bird Teeth bring a similar feel to the table with its debut EP, “Turkey Noises.” It contains simple, fun songs of being on the road, sitting around with friends and living life to the fullest. Despite being a two-piece band, Bird Teeth fills the gaps rather well with two voices and a multitude of instruments over which creative and thoughtful lyrics pour out of their hearts.
“Hell in a Handbasket” stands out as an interesting track, going from a fast-paced bluegrass sound to a vintage swing style. The violin and guitar combo mix well with the lyrics, which bring to light a dark concept: we are all headed down the same road in the end. With a verse ending, “the only truth in this world is that one day we’ll all die,” this band is not afraid to embrace that concept while walking a fine line between the macabre and actual reality. The song is a wonderful example of being able to say “to hell with it” and drink a beer after a hard day or tough week.
Another great asset to this album is the closing song, “Friends (you matter).” Our friends are the most important part of our lives sometimes. Many of them have flaws or habits they need to work through, but they are still our friends. The song is a great nod to those who keep us up and stick with us through a variety of weird and trying times. In addition, this song is a testament to the close-knit nature of the scene this music exists in by showing one’s willingness to help friends to keep them out of danger and harm. Friends in this genre seem to always have each other’s back and are quick to lend a hand, no matter the circumstances.
One thing about this album that is particularly interesting is the constant flow of lyrics through every song. Musicians often take their music to the forefront and add a solo or embellishment to the measure in between a verse. However,these musicians flawlessly sustain their vocals throughout the album.
Check out Bird Teeth at birdteef.bandcamp.com/releases
Nate Mays/Henry and the Woods
Split records are usually fun for all of those involved in the process of making them and turn out even to be fun for those who listen to them. Often, they introduce new music or bands to a different audience, but sometimes, they are just done for the sake of doing it.
Nate Mays and Henry and the Woods come together for a nice collaboration of four songs. Taken together, these cuts reach a number of people with different musical tastes because they include a more alternative, rather than folk, sound on an acoustic guitar. Both artists use vocal techniques that are slightly reminiscent of the emo bands that we came to know and love in the 2000s. In fact, this album seems like an acoustic session by some of those fan-favorite bands.
Nate Mays’ “Don’t Change” emerges as the standout on the album with a friendly guitar melody and great message to someone who really might need to hear those words. It’s a reminder that we are all just humans on a rock, but that we each have individual value, and that value is something to hold on to.
While listening to this album will only take around 12 minutes, you’ll have to push repeat after hearing these sounds. It’s a comforting little split with mellow guitars and heartfelt lyrics to catch the attention of nearly every fan of acoustic music. Keep an ear out for both of these artists as they both have plans to release some new music in the near future.
Check out this split at casualcrustrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nate-mays-henry-the-woods-split