Americana’s emerging Steely Dan, The Harmed Brothers create complex roots music, accessible and challenging. Built around songwriting duo Ray Vietti (vox and acoustic guitar) and Alex Salcido (vox, keyboards, banjo, and guitar), The Harmed Brothers’ Across the Waves reflects unbridled delight.
Recorded in Cincinnati, this progressive roots amalgam creates homely images of community, relationships, and situational challenge containing instrumental mysticism: each song features a little something-—a warble from the keys, a pedal steel accent, or an oddly placed bit of percussion or bass—offering individuality.
If Across the Waves has a central thesis, it is this: let the eternal internal clouds of darkness dissipate, you are fine the way you are. Reflected in catchy, uplifting and punchy numbers including “All the Same,” “Skyline Over,” and “Ride It Out” (“Take a deep breath…”) this sense of positive, personal spirituality—a belief in self and others—is not only intriguing intellectually, but lends itself to the sense of freedom contained within The Harmed Brothers’ music making.
An album made to help us survive 2020.
A bit country, a bit folky, and definitely a bit modern rock (whatever the hell that is), Across the Waves is an album that will weave its way into listeners willing to invest in it. “Time,” which closes the album also hints at the impact of depression, but does not linger in despair. Rather, the song offers a way toward the light—“Nothing’s meant to last…We’ll stay and we’ll play these songs.” We got this, then.
“Funnies” holds our current political divide to account—“The Earth is running out of truth,” its protagonist identifies—while “River Town” and “Picture Show” reflect the truth of relationships. “In a Staring Contest” and “Born a Rotten Egg,” alongside “Where You’re Going” reveal elements of the emotional treadmill we all experience—family, love, loss, renewal, and memory.
An amazing little band, are The Harmed Brothers, now based across the Ohio River in Ludlow, Kentucky. Give Across the Waves an opportunity to impress you.
I’ve got five previous albums to catch-up on.