Harp & Plow – Harp & Plow
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are doing so from the comfort of your city-located abode. It’s just stats Google has let us obtained. Statistics also assume that the odds are that you are probably dreaming of a quieter, cleaner living out in the countryside, and, possibly, lamenting about how much better your ancestors had it.
Those are all fair concerns, no doubt. The musicians behind Harp & Plow share much of the same distrust in modern living. They play a kind of Folk/Americana rooted in the myths of the country as it once was.
This is not something new. The Band rejected their hipster backing-band status in exchange for hipster folk-poet standing. The Laurel Canyon bunch sang about exchanging California for the old dirt roads. And, more recently, plenty of indie-folk artists sporting beards and skinny jeans expressed similar desires.
Harp & Plow sound honest and seem to have been exposed to plenty of old-fashion blues, country, and folk which they’ve soaked up. This is a song about life’s rich pageant as seen through the eyes of someone comfortable with the daily toil and labour. It’s a song that has grown thick roots.
Sinnet – Island Town
While in 2020 so many music artists were compelled to tailor their work to older visions and philosophies, the same was happening in all other walks of life. Younger people, usually burned out with their 9-to-5s, were looking for a way out of the rat race. Often, this carried them out of the cities, and in search of some relief in places where space is not hard to come by at any time.
Sinnet, cleverly, picked up on this narrative. It ended up informing a whole album. Island Town is the single that also lends its name to the concept-piece. It earnestly tells the tale of moving into a small town, learning to enjoy life at a slower pace, and embracing your dad-rock vibe.
The song itself, unapologetically, incorporates those dad-rock ideas and marries them to modern indie-rock production. It could be Paul McCartney’s Ram for a different generation. Much like that recording, there’s no trace of cynicism here. Cheerful melodies and meditations on well-groomed lawns and well-meaning neighbours greet you like an invitation to a wholesome house-party.