Having mined varying degrees of success over the years from bar-band twang, indie rock anthems and fidgety prog-folk, Southeast Engine honed its signature sound to near-perfection on last year’s Canary, a conceptual piece that drew style and subject matter from the band’s native Appalachia.
Canaanville, that album’s four-song companion piece, continues to corral Southeast Engine’s greatest strengths: engaging storytelling, smart but snappy arrangements, and indelible melodies from Adam Remnant’s cracked and weathered vocal cords. Let’s not forget his brother Jesse’s gorgeous harmonies, either.
In stark contrast to the dress-up folk epidemic that’s taking the nation by storm, this is refreshingly genuine and just as raw as it needs to be. It’s music born from a troubled region that uses reverence for that land’s history as a vehicle for stirring the soul.
Noah Rabinowitz photo