Two Gallants have left many critics, myself included, dumbfounded for a means of describing their music. Those less talented have made illusions to their folk rock contemporaries and labelmates, or a certain well-known rock duo, claiming vocalist/guitarist Adam Fontaine and drummer Hyde Edneud as the bastard sons of these groupings. The closest thing I have come across as to giving the band justice is that the two tap into something much older then they supposedly have the right to, refreshing the timeless music of early twentieth century America. As a fan it has always been something much easier to describe. The pair have the unique ability of capturing emotion and telling stories in a sincere and passionate way, exhibited with honest flaws in their work that give the listen the comfort of humanity.
While recorded and mixed earlier this year, The Scenery of Farewell is a collection of songs that runs the gamut from the bands beginnings to now. Ironically, to date, the EP serves as the most cohesive release from Two Gallants; dealing mostly with the introspection that results from loss and the encompassing feelings associated with a sense of homelessness. Though remaining a definitive two piece, the band manages to make use of a sparse array of instrumentation in addition to their guitar/harmonica/drum setup by adding, at times, an organ as well as a fiddle to compliment their lo-fi folk sound. The songs, however, remain lyrically driven, highlighting and solidifying Fontaine as one of the most promising writers in music today.
Opening The Scenery of Farewell is the upbeat "Seems Like Home to Me," a track dealing with the results of a touring lifestyle, and boasting a chorus of gang vocals to create the aesthetic of a sing-along after a heavy night out on the town. From there the EP retreats from its lighter start and tones down for the remaining four tracks. "Lady," the album's second cut, is loosely based on a poem by T.S Eliot, and works as enough to break the hearts of anyone who has ever been in their mid-twenties. The gem of the disc comes in the closer, "Linger On", a piano ballad often requested during live shows and appearing for the first time in more than bootleg format.
Sitting at a playing time of just less than half an hour, The Scenery of Farewell, has a feeling more equated to an album, then an EP. With a new full-length due out in September, however, the disc serves to offer a taste and tide over fans until the new release, while at the same time gaining that ever allusive buzz so sought for in the industry. This is truly the bands best work, and leaving me in reverence of their talents.
8.5 / 10
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