The Traverse City alt-folk band launches an album-release tour with several Michigan shows this week, promoting its vibrant new collection. Listen to the album exclusively today at Local Spins.
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Traverse City alt-folk/pop band The Accidentals took a full year to record and create their latest album, “Vessel,” overcoming the challenges of a pandemic to hone a “really diverse folk-rock sound.”
The new album officially gets released Friday (Oct. 1), with the band — featuring special guest, Grand Rapids’ Patty PerShayla on guitar — opening their album-release tour with Sawyer Fredericks in Traverse City tonight (Sept. 29).
Local Spins readers today get an exclusive preview of the full album.
What Stands Out: The title track of The Accidentals’ much-anticipated, arduously constructed new studio album offers insights into the challenges posed by the past year and more: “I’ve been breathing/So deeply letting life come/Naturally it’s a struggle/Secretly with every fiber/I build a bridge to where I wanna be/It’s like parking past a moving car/You all sense of your perspective/Am I falling back or standing still/I guess it’s all subjective.” During a pandemic that’s had many of us wondering whether we’re moving or standing still, The Accidentals offer an elaborate but mostly DIY musical salve and an uplifting way out of this mess. As true tonal artists, the Traverse City-based folk-pop band of master-class musicians sows lyrics, harmonies and instrumentation that grow into inspiring soundscapes complete with lush imagery. It’s hard not to love what the band does best: crafting enchanting lyrics, blending them with layered vocals and supporting them with less-is-more instrumentation that elevates without distracting. With familiar harmonies delivered by Savannah Buist, Katie Larson and Michael Dause, “Vessel” is at once a calming musical rejoinder for longtime fans and what the band describes as a project radiating “neon, bright colors.” Among the most resplendent of these are the tracks “Go Getter,” “Rollercoaster,” “Waste,” “Simple Terms” and “Slow and Steady,” all of which add indie-rock brushstrokes and muscle to a palette that’s already earned deserved national and international recognition.
Digging Deeper: As always, the band — whose resume as uber-literate, well-read musicians has always outshined its contemporaries and inspired wise-beyond-their-years lyrical content — creates an insightful roadmap for brighter days ahead after suffocating darkness. Make no mistake, this is still The Accidentals, who lean on tried-and-true, folk-grounded comforts that have sustained them since they were teenagers exploring musical frontiers for the first time. But their ability to create depth with their arrangements continues to enrich their work. The guitar riff on “Damascus Blades” that circles around the track is second-to-none with its addicting loop, so much so that the subtle replacement of it with simple harmonic notes draw its beauty out further until it returns. “Wildfire,” meanwhile, balances iconic, layered vocals with intimate songwriting that pulls listeners close before filling them with warm recollection — a humble, charming track with soft-spoken beauty. It’s another example of a trio that’s worked tirelessly to improve their craft, to add technical know-how to their recording repertoire, to enhance their sound and to create a “patch of light” for a more humane world. In the end, over its 14 tracks, “Vessel” takes sail as a vivid, artfully crafted repository of hopefulness, especially for anyone – like the subject in “Marrow” – with a “broken kickdrum for a heart.”
Perfect For: Ringing in the melancholy mood of autumn with a sanguine air.
Upcoming Michigan Shows (with Sawyer Fredericks): Wednesday, Sept. 29 and Thursday, Sept. 30 at City Opera House in Traverse City (with Sawyer Fredericks); Friday, Oct. 1 at State Theatre in Bay City; Oct. 2 at The Ark in Ann Arbor; Oct. 7 at Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Petoskey (presented by Blissfest); Oct. 8 at Cheboygan Opera House in Cheboygan (presented by Blissfest); Oct. 9 at Calvin University’s Covenant Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids.
Exclusive Listen: “Vessel”
VIDEO: The Accidentals, “Count the Rings”
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