San Diego folk rockers The Liquorsmiths have put together a six-track EP titled This Book Belongs To. To be released August 21, 2015, it is an emotional, sincere, and engaging collection. The mainly folk ambiance that Drew Thams (vocals, guitar), Ryan Fischer (keyboards, drums, percussion), and Clayton Payne (drums, percussion) is also imbibed with rock flavours, pop sounds, and the spirit of Americana.
The opening track, “Coy With Me”, is a mid-tempo folk/Americana ballad featuring smooth keyboards and guitars accompanied by gentle, groovy drums. There is an almost dissonant quality to the way the layers have been put together that captures one’s attention. “Get Well Soon” is an uptempo and catchy drum- and guitar-driven song with sweet, heartfelt lyrics: “The hardest part of my day/Is leaving/Leaving the room/In which you sleep/Cause I sleep with you.” The track purposefully ends just one note before a satisfying conclusion, leaving an itch in one’s ear quickly filled with “Iris’ Song”. This soft yet passionate slow folk rock track is almost poetic, with an emotional progression to the lyrics that is paralleled with a similar melodic progression. It only consists of three layers—strumming guitars, soft drums, and emotional vocals—and yet feels as complete as any track out there. “Iris’ Song” cements the band’s reputation as in-depth lyric writers who do not just scratch the surface of topics such as love, but delving into it: “Because home is not a place/it’s a family/Just like warmth is not a feeling it’s a state of mind/So from this point on I swear it/With my two hands in yours/We’ll build it/We’ll build it right.”
“Thief” sounds very different from what we have come to expect by now from The Liquorsmiths. It is an upbeat yet soft track that is more indie-pop than Americana/folk rock. Its intricacy fills the auditory space to its fullest, giving listeners something new to notice with every listen, but keeping well from the line that crosses into overwhelming. The drums are especially noteworthy. There is a certain attitude in “Devil I Do” that is nowhere else on this EP, an inspiring song about breaking free from the devils that plague us. The hope and joy of being able to break away from the devils that haunt us can be felt quite clearly and yet the track remains on the soft, almost humble side. “Day By Day” offers a sweet, gentle ending that sounds a lot like the opening track what with its similar dissonant layer building, and offers a satisfying conclusion to This Book Belongs To.
Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about the band is available on both their Facebook page and their official website.
First published here on Blogcritics.