The Los Angeles folk pop/Americana band The Furious Seasons released its fourth album last month, entitled My Love Is Strong. The broad emotional reach of its 13 tracks is built on catchy melodies, thoughtfully built harmonies, and storyline lyrics that engage listeners from the get-go. While certain influences come through clearly—the most obvious one being Bob Dylan—band members David Steinhart (vocals, guitar), Jeff Steinhart (bass), Bob Gannon (drums, percussion), and Eric Marin (keyboards, accordion, organ, piano) have managed to create a sound that is uniquely theirs.
The opening vocal harmonies in “Southern Night” lead quickly into a cheerful and energetic drum-driven, rock-pop track. An organ flirts heavily with the drums throughout the almost four-minute run of a song that seems to embody something of The Eagles.
The bouncy “Fooled By the Bottle” combines the energy of pop and the easy familiarity of folk music. The sweet “Valentine” is a haunting love ballad different from most because of The Furious Seasons’ lyrics, which are typically much more developed than that of most of their contemporaries. The sweeping melody and singing in “Wind Blown” further enhances the story being told.
Folk flavours are also used to tell some dark stories on the album, such as the heavy tale of a tortured and agonized soul in “Bad Man”. Similarly, the dark narrative in “Understood”—a man jilted by an old friend who shoots him and prepares himself for his inevitable incarceration in the gallows—is set in a folk-imbibed melody. Both the story and the music are enhanced by a background choir of voices.
Some of the songs by The Furious Seasons also cross over to other genres, such as the edgier, old school punk track “Summer Rain” and the country feel of its title track. A song titled “Full Disclosure” seems like a great place for the band to make use of a subtle ska rhythm and horns that give it an almost jazz-like feel, which reflects the joy of a love story between two people who have hit their middle ages despite its potential downfalls: “I’m a couple of years shy/Of my first major/Heart attack/But with you on my arm/We could take this world on”.
My Love Is Strong is warm-hearted and well written, making for a great addition to lovers of original easy listening songs with folk, Americana, and country flavours. A selection of The Furious Seasons’ music is available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information about the band is available on their official website and their Facebook page.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.
First published here on Blogcritics.