As we live, we get hit by different experiences, which is a prime element of what makes us who we are. You have to go through the journey alone, because only you will feel what you’re dealing with, but sometimes destiny plays its role and chooses the select all for suffering, giving us a global strike. Such as COVID-19, which has been an unpleasant guest on our planet since 2020. Nevertheless, in the poorest land, a seed could be placed and grow, like Modern Folklore, who got together in 2020, and now they’re sharing the bittersweet experience as they saw it, through their fiery rock sound, in their concept EP, “Vol. 1.”
Modern Folklore is a group of talented musicians who are distinct stars that just needed a dark time to shine, and now they need us to just look up and enjoy! Dexter Carman on (guitar and vocals), Josh Shepperd on (guitar and vocals), Kyle Blessing on (guitar, synthesizer, violin, and vocals), Patrick Fahey on (bass and vocals), and Ed Flammond on (drums), make up the stellar quintet.
Nothing could describe them better than their own words: “From the depths of a small cave in the midst of the Black Hills comes the hum of tube amplifiers and crashing cymbals of five souls trying to tune into an ancient consciousness of noise, rhythm, and melody.”
“Vol. 1” is their first EP, and it sets an outstanding start for what to come next. It’s driven by a nostalgic feel that has both a cold and a warm flair. All of the elements strike a chord with the sensations they carry and how well-written and performed they are. The concept is the struggles of the pandemic, but it moves the left-over feelings of the losses and the hope amidst them.
The EP kicks off with light rhythms and a hard-hitting theme in “This Pain is a Gift (The Quarantine Song).” It’s obvious from its titles that it’s depicting one of the hardest times we all went through and haven’t gotten over completely. However, the melody, along with the backing vocals, is going easy on us, giving us a warm vibe, and the lyrics leave us with a positive message that’s worth thinking about: “Sometimes the worst things in our lives are just blessings in disguise. I think this pain is a gift. I hope you do too!” The notion that pain and hope could walk side by side is conveyed in all of the elements, especially the instrumental and the vocals.
Moving on to “Sidewalks” and its shimmery intro and late-night vibe. The melodic vocals have a yearning tone that wishes for the simpler times to come back, and I could say that the sentimental performance is speaking for most of us, because who wouldn’t want to “act so fast without really thinking” one more time? The instruments and how they were arranged build up a melancholic atmosphere, yet it’s cozy as you feel like you’re sitting with your friends who are playing soulfully. The solo act at the end is on fire! It provokes the wild and free period of life that was a nostalgic sense throughout the song.
“Silent Tongue” is what autumn would sound like. Its dreamy yet blue ambiance with the enticing electric hooks, upbeat drum line, and harmonic backing vocals along with the tender, heartfelt vocals all give the sense of falling leaves, weather changes, and people leaving with the nights getting longer and their memories getting heavier. The coherent rocking part at the end of the song, where the instruments are mashing together with an irresistible cadence, is something that demonstrates the flawless core here.
Closing with a passionate bang, “Manchild.” It’s inspired by a personal experience, which is the writer’s divorce during the pandemic, yet it will feel relatable once one hears it, as it applies to getting lost and having a hard time letting go in general. The lyrics feel as if they came from one’s mind and own experience, and the music sounds like their complexed thoughts. The spicy riffs sound angry and confused, while the straightforward drumming feels like trying to go with the flow. The violins were aligning well with the vocals, like they were backing them up. The fast-paced solo part in the med section and the noisy jamming at the end were the best ways to end this remarkable EP!
It seems to me that “Manchild” has these guys’ true wild artistic identity, which we can hopefully see more of in the future. They weren’t just letting go of thoughts and emotions in it, they were letting their musical prowess shove off and shine. As much as I liked the entire EP, its concept, and sound, this is the standout one for sure. They could undoubtedly go for both slow burning and tearing up the room. Trust me, you’ll enjoy the short journey and it will resonate for a while.