The Farewell Drifters - Echo Boom
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Echo Boom (Heart Squeeze, 2011)

The Farewell Drifters

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

Back in the 1990s alt-country 'boom', there were plenty of bands that played the kind of sunny, harmony-laden roots-pop that marked the careers of The Jayhawks, Wilco, even bit players such as From Good Homes or Jackopierce. It is that sound which echoes strongly in the music of The Farewell Drifters on songs such as Little Boy or Punchline, but they're so irrepressibly cheerful that it comes across as a current take on the optimism of '60s folk-rock (the jaunty hootenanny of When We Go Together or the Simon and Garfunkel style I've Had Enough) rather than a conscious decision to emulate more recent peers such as Mumford & Sons or The Avett Brothers.

Farewell Drifters are more pop-centric than either of those contemporaries, though the mostly acoustic instrumentation gives the proceedings some small degree of twang on songs such as Roses. They seem to acknowledge the lightweight nature of their music on Tip of the Iceberg:

I'll do you right so don't do me wrong
I'll sing you the words to your favorite song
I'll tell you the story that we all belong
I'll let you in if you won't stay long

It's in that transient state of sugary sweet pop music that The Farewell Drifters reside, and they'll certainly do you right with some stories that may or may not become your favorite songs - just don't count on them sticking with you too long.

CDs by The Farewell Drifters

Tomorrow Forever, 2014 Echo Boom, 2011

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