10:06 PM EDT, June 3, 2013
Lush. Rich. Ornamental. These are all adjectives you're going to read over and over again when you hear people describe the newest EP from Brooklyn (by way of CT) indie folk outfit, Modern Merchant. Unfortunately for them these are all drastic understatements.
Modern Merchant drape layers upon layers of instrumentation and melodies all over For The Fields in the way some of the great painters have left paint drying so thick on the canvas the textures and depth are visible from across the gallery space. Whether they are in moments of deep introspection or light-hearted whimsy, Modern Merchant is able to create powerful and entrancing atmospheres. Theirs is a style of music that commands your undivided attention at every listen, whether on a dark Summer night with a good set of headphones or in the live setting. Either way they are busy evoking roughly 30 years of some of the masters of alluring sounds from psych rock to shoegaze to dream pop.
John Parson and Jesse Stanford are two of the best songwriters Connecticut has churned out in some time. On their own or in other outfits they were exceptional at their craft but together they are an absolute powerhouse. That's not to diminish the contributions of bassist Mike Skaggs or drummer Sydney Weiss. On the contrary this band couldn't succeed sonically without the backbone that this rhythm section lays down. Most drummers keep time. Weiss keeps time and place while Skaggs fills in the gaps with near perfect proficiency. This foursome plays off one another in a way that very few bands are capable of organically achieving.
For The Fields is like a walk in your favorite forest. It's familiar and you might know the landscape well enough. But there is so much beauty and stimuli that you'll discover something fresh and exciting with each and every stroll down the path.
You can hear selections from this album over at the Modern Merchant Bandcamp page. For The Fields is available for purchase there or from the band directly at their many upcoming live performances this Summer.
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