Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this review, I’m going to be delving into the new six track endeavor from Fellow American, a six piece outfit hailing from Texas. Their latest endeavor, ‘From Me to Shore’ is a surprisingly elegant effort, perhaps even making a bold statement for the band’s signing to a label in the near future. Their eclectic blend of indie rock is nothing short of infectious, and the collection of tunes is a joyful romp through their original style. Let’s dig into it.
‘Monkey in the Middle’ kicks in the album with defiant force. Fellow American’s sound is incredibly sharp, which definitely gives them a leg up against most their independent counterparts. This isn't a basement self-mix. This is a professional studio job, and a tactful one at that. The dynamic landscape of ‘Monkey in the Middle’ is chock-full of intricacy - I love the funky guitars, jumpy synthesizers, and catchy vocal harmonies. It’s a great track that defines Fellow American as a well-organized outfit. Each instrumental and vocal performance is on mark.
‘Curfew,’ the following track, is arguably an even better tune. It helps concrete the space that Fellow American occupies - indie rock with tinged with funky, west coast pop influence. The performances are absolutely stellar, especially with the tight percussion and equally solid electric guitar musings. ‘West,’ does, however, expand the palette of Fellow American’s offerings, providing an extension into their Jack Johnson-esque surfer, easy-breezy sounds. The comradery of the harmony vocals is spectacularly fun.
I’m incredibly happy at the midpoint of the record that Fellow American opted for a soft, introspective acoustic number with ‘The Current.’ This track is absolutely beautiful, and it’s also a welcome reprieve from the rocking nature of previous tracks on the record. A good rock band should always be able to strip down their sound to significant success. What’s even better? The band follows with ‘Black Ice,’ a drastically experimental track in comparison to tunes like ‘Curfew.’ I love the depth of their compositional strength on ‘Black Ice;’ it adds a whole lot of ‘oomph’ to the latter moments of the album.
‘Play God’ finishes out the album admirably, harnessing a psychedelic, falsetto sound that mixes nicely with their polished indie rock. Thus, it’s an excellent record - There isn’t a bad tune on this album. I particularly like the greater songwriting endeavors that Fellow American delves into on the last three songs. They’re an intriguing departure from the easy, seaside style of ‘Monkey in the Middle’ and ‘Curfew.’ The band balances both nicely, however, making ‘From Me to Shore’ a very well rounded effort.