Due to my cooperation with the Greywood Records Label, I ran into another interesting album, which might be out of the mainstream focus: Maple & Rye are a folk-pop band from Gothenburg, Their debut album For Everything will be released on 29th May 2020 (note: in the initial version of the review, I stated 22nd May 2020, but the album release has been moved by one week…)
Maple & Rye – About The Artists
The roots of the band are as of 2014, when Gustav Rybo-Molin and Leo Lönnroth formed the band in order to write harmonic indie pop. Over time, they added Milton Lönnroth and Henrik Bielsten and by that formed a four-man combo out of Maple & Rye. Their debut single Lost has been released in 2016. Their 2017 debut EP Nothing Poetic was quite successful, which was also majorly due to Hymns of Poseidon, which has been streamed almost three million times on Spotify. They grew and increased their fan base as a touring band as well, not only doing a Scandinavian tour, but also for example touring California. For Everything is the first album release of the quartet.
Maple & Rye – For Everything – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts some 38 minutes.
Acoustic guitars, choral-alike singing with (partially) two parallel voices – this is how I first touched base with Maple & Rye. A nice song, which is very intense and catching by the great collaboration of the voices. Cool!
2. Rebel’s Run
Rebel’s Run starts very slow, with a gentle, but swinging piano giving the meloody of the intro. A slow track, which again illustrates the vocal strengths of the artists in the chorus.
While Rebel’s Run had a touch of being melancholic, Lorelei feels more happy – it is also a significantly faster track. I enjoy that style much more and could imagine that is also great live on stage.
Oh my Lorelei
You sang my lullaby, my lullaby
Oh my Lorelei
My ship has sailed you by, I’e sailed you on by.
4. Leaving Now
Leaving Now is again using very basic and elementary musical arrangement on the one hand (though there are still quite significant instrumental parts) and is emphasizing on the vocals, the story. In this song, I have to say that it is comparably hard for me to follow, it is a bit too simplistic – until the songs turns into a multi-vocal firework towards its end. Some of you might have pushed the forward button already and already listen to Pretoria, the next track.
Pretoria got it again: the swinging, easy sound which I for example liked at Lorelei (which I would write as Loreley, by the way…). I like that style of Maple & Rye, much more, the arrangement is also richer and uses more instruments.
6. Con of the Century
Con of the Century is to me the best track on the album. Very intense vocals, different moods between thoughtful and powerful and a catching melody make it just a good listen. Give it a try to check if you could like the band at all!
Cannonball away we can reach for the stars
We will reach them tonight
The seventh song is very atmospheric, a very good listen again. While the first tracks of the album partially feel a bit “tough” and “heavy”, these songs do a lot more fun.
Eldorado again impresses especially on the vocal side. Maple & Rye with their widespread talent just have so much potential to create different moods, different sounds. Very enjoyable!
9. For Everything
Strarting with brass sounds, this song introduces itself very powerfully, but then changes between speedy periods and very intense and slow parts. Cool title track!
Hear my tremble, hear my voice
Only then shall I rejoice
My weakness tells of faults I’ve done.
In the mists of Avalon
So break my soul and take my sword
Leave me to the mercy of the Lord
I lost all that I cared for
In the winters of Aviemore.
Another song which is very intense by its atmosphere, by the story told. Another song, which I feel could have a very intense effect on the audience when performed live. But also another song, which is just quite heavy.
Maple & Rye – For Everything – Spotify
Here is the Spotify link to For Everything:
Maple & Rye -For Everything – My View
These are the kind of reviews I hate to write: a couple of songs are just too heavy, too intense for my. While writing this review, I had to think about a Lucinda Williams album I recently had a look into: it undoubtedly had great musical quality, but it was just too heavy, too deep to me. Like jazz or some classic music. I fully respect these genres, but I just don’t want to be touched that deeply and I also don’t want to invest so much to enjoy music.
Maple & Rye might not have the outstanding musical quality of Lucinda Williams album I quoted above, but you need to invest into it. At least some tracks require that you are active, that you not just consume it. If you like deep folk songs, you will love the album. The voices are great, the guys know to do their job, there is no doubt about it. For “easy listeners” like me, there are still some three, four really nice tracks. Thus, as I wroite in my track by tracks, I recommend to start with Con of the Century and work yourself deeper into this album, if you feel like it.
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