What's roots pop? The band Front Country is exploring that question.
When it comes to enjoying string tunes, Front Country has your back.
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, the roots-pop band will gig in the First State at Bromberg's Big Noise Music Festival in Wilmington on Saturday.
Then you can check out the group head headlining upstairs at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on May 25.
What's roots pop?
Front Country is trying to explore that question. The band plays acoustic string instruments, yet with a sensibility that's far from the back country. During their musical journey, they've merged their acoustic sound with a pop aesthetic, writing and arranging songs that are simultaneously intricate and infectious.
"Other Love Songs" is Front Country’s roots-pop opus and it promises to be the band’s most intensely creative and original effort yet. The songs are emotional in nature, if not always in subject, and sometimes with a twist, hence the title.
This is also the first record relying on lead singer Melody Walker’s songwriting, with eight of the 12 tracks penned by the lead singer.
Two contributions are sophisticated instrumentals composed by mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz. Round out the creative band arrangement style of guitarist Jacob Groopman, bassist Jeremy Darrow and five-string violinist Leif Karlstrom; and the synergy is electric.
The two cover songs on the album are the poignant “Millionaire” by David Olney and a swampy blues-rock reimagining of the Carter Family’s “Storms Are On The Ocean.”
The collection of original "Other Love Songs" on the album are “If Something Breaks,” “I Don’t Wanna Die Angry,” “Good Side,” “Undone,” “O Heartbreaker” and “Keep Travelin’.”
“These songs follow the lessons that everyone learns in their own personal evolution toward emotional maturity and vulnerability,” Walker said. "All of us learn to break down toxic romantic fairy tales and write our own 'Other Love Songs' that work for real people in the real world.”
More about Front Country
What started as a group of friends playing bluegrass in San Francisco's mission district has morphed into a touring powerhouse of song and sound, transcending their humble roots.
Front Country's dynamic instrumental textures take flight with grace and gravitas while rooted in the relentlessly soulful vocals of the lead singer-songwriter Walker.
Along with mandolinist Roszkiewicz, guitarist Jacob Groopman, violinist Leif Karlstrom and bassist Jeremy Darrow, this quintet has been called "passionately intoxicating" and "orchestral." Also, Melody's bluesy vocals have been described as "rafter-shaking."