Lately the whole music spectrum has been going through some sort of folk revival these past few years, acts like My Morning Jacket, The Low Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Wilco and many others have been growing in popularity every day while sticking to timeless folk aesthetics that are very unique when you see most of the musicians that dominate the charts these days don't even bother to use a good old-fashioned six-string in their repertoire. One musician that definitely has what it takes to be the next big thing when it comes to kickass folk music is Langhorne Slim, who has a new album out this week titled The Way We Move, and boy is it a doozy.
Born Sean Scolnick on August 20, 1980 in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Slim first got noticed through performing and touring with the New York City anti-folk group Trachtenburg Family Sideshow Players as well as an appearance at the fabled and famous Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. In 2004, Slim signed to Brooklyn label Narnack Records and put out the album Electric Love Letter. The title track off of the album quickly became an underground hit making the Rolling Stone Editor's Top Ten Picks the week the album was released. Since then he has released three more albums, switched labels to another Brooklyn label called Kemado Records and rocked concert halls, festivals and everywhere else worldwide.
In an interview I did with Slim a few weeks ago, he feels that the new album is "14 of our best recorded songs so far. We're extremely excited and proud of this one, it's our best work we feel." Recorded at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY last year with his backing band known as "The Law" consisting of Jeff Ratner on bass, Malachi DeLorenzo on drums, and David Moore on the keys and banjo, The Way We Move can very well be Slim's best work yet with tracks that are guaranteed to rock your soul away in a very, very good way.
"The Way We Move" is a flat out unbelievable song, with Slim's raspy vocals and jumpin' guitar accented by DeLorenzo's steady beats on the drums and Moore's smooth skills on the keyboards all held together which the catchy chorus "You didn't know it, now you do, this is the way, we move". "Bad Luck" is a uplifting and triumphant track for anyone who's had a tough go in the game of life, instead of getting down in the dumps you make best of what you got and keep on truckin' because it'll get better. Moore's banjo playing on the track is completely stellar as well. "Fire" has an old school soul feel to it with Slim singing about falling in love with a girl and missing the way she was, definitely a track that the likes of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and James Brown would appreciate. "Great Divide" describes how humanity is lost in its own confusion and panicking for answers when they should just chill out and relax, it also is so rhythmic that you'll be cuttin' a rug in no time.
"Found My Heart" is a song about heartbreak and getting over the love that was lost, featuring a great banjo solo from Moore as well as being an overall kickass song. "Two Crooked Hearts" examines the equation of two fools falling in love never really equal to anything but a waste of time, which leaves both people just getting sick of each other. "Coffee Cups" isn't actually about coffee at all, but instead its about staying up all night drinking wine out of coffee cups, feeling like stranger in your own town after being out on the road, missing your loved ones along with getting back on track while asking your sweetheart to hold your hand through the ordeals. Overall, The Way We Move is a fantastic piece of music that will definitely make you an instant Langhorne Slim after hearing that first strum, beat and lyric after you press play.
Currently Langhorne Slim is touring the United States where he'll be playing The Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on June 6th on his next stop and his last date of the tour is on August 17th at The Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY. For us New Englanders, Slim already played an amazing show (trust me, I was there) at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA on May 25th but if you don't mind venturing down I-95 he's playing The Bowery Ballroom in New York City on June 14th. Until you get to see Langhorne Slim in your neck of the woods, grab a copy of The Way We Move. It's an ideal album for music lovers anywhere and everywhere, far and wide, east side to west side, north side to south side.
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