Friday, August 23, 2013

The Sterling Sisters-Hale

Pesanta Urfolk

I remember that the first time I heard alt-country, and then subsequently cowpunk, I walked away realizing that there was so much more music that I had yet to experience. That same feeling hit me when I listened to "Hale" by Baltimore’s The Sterling Sisters. No, this isn't alt-country or cowpunk. This is something all together different. Although there is a part of this band with ties to alt-country. That would be George Cessna who is the son of alt-country pioneer Slim Cessna. Together with Scout Paré-Phillips you're looking at the chief songwriters behind The Sterling Sisters and, naturally, "Hale". Andrew Haas, Eric Paltell and Corey Hughes are also listed as musicians on "Hale", but who plays what is not established. Not that it matters as it's easy enough to picture this band's sound just by it's apt description. Anyone for Dark Americana then? Yes, Dark Americana. Now we're talking! After a "handful of bold EPs" this bravely original act is hoping for bigger and better things with their full-length debut album. Or at least they're hoping that they'll reach in and grab a few more hearts while they ramble on down the dusty back roads that are filled to the brim with folk, blues, rock and roll, country and so much more. Gothic undertones also come into play on "Hale" (gothabilly never sounded so sincere as it does here!), but at their core, which is filled with this graceful understanding as to what exactly it is that moves people to embrace your music, you'll hear an album rocks much more closer to roots music then anything "electrified". Thanks to their engaging take on one of America's more charming institutions (Americana is just one of those things where it's really hard not to find some kind of enjoyment out of it) an album like "Hale" feels so comfortable. Even if "Hale" comes across as being more focused on the darker side of nature then on it's lighter side (hence the "Dark Americana" tag) this album still feels relaxed and calming. This is one band that I'll be keeping a firm eye on just as this album is one I plan to return to often. 

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