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Album Review: The End Of America - Steep Bay

Hailing from New York The End of America have produced an album of typically guitar led folk songs with the occasional appearance from a banjo. One aspect which fills you with some fresh hope is the premise of 'Steep Bay', they went off to record this album in a cabin at 'Steep Bay', with the addition of some of the natural sounds making their way onto the release. ‘Are You Lonely’ purs through the speakers with a pluck of guitar and double vocal, the delivery is warm and mellow before they count themselves in to second track ‘Running’ which again runs with the double vocal but the guitars are fuller and there’s a bit more energy from the trio. There’s something about this that is undeniably catchy, a lot like most of the album, but fails to develop into something different or fresh.

‘These Things Are Mine’ adds a banjo into the mix with a strong chorus, at over three minutes it feels like the first full song on the album, taking on a more standard structure, as the past two seem to drift in and out before you know anything about them. ‘Oh Mousey’ plucks its way through and wriggles off before you know it’s there before ‘All, Nothing’, perhaps the strongest track steps in to take a hold. The harmonies are silky but everything feels like the blueprint for an album in the early stages of a writing process, a work in progress. You’ll find yourself wanting something more throughout ‘Steep Bay’ but disappointingly it never comes. ‘Diving Rock’ introduces the sounds of the Steep Bay Lake with the recording of the band jumping into the water, before ‘Fiona Grace’ opens, a track that oozes with a clear Ryan Adams influence and a silky smooth vocal.

‘The Hardest Thing’ holds some great harmonizing and a fresh vocal delivery, again with the assistance of a banjo before the sound of rain and that good ol’ banjo play it out with last track, ‘Steep Bay’. The premise of this album is a lot stronger than the final nine tracks, the idea of stripping everything back with just a cabin and two mics seems relevant at a time when music can seem so heavily over produced. But what The End Of America have managed to do is create something that feels like a teaser, the beginnings of a band finding their sound. A prequel to a great folk album, but at the moment we are left with an album that although feeling so honest and raw, just doesn’t feel like the final product, the stripped back music leaving everything feeling quite empty.


'Steep Bay' by The End Of America is available via Forest Park Records as a digital download from The End Of America.

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Connor O’Brien

Alter The Press!