There are a couple of recent releases by Indie rock bands that have a significant Americana Alt-country influence. I am referring to Oakley Hall’s I’ll Follow You on Merge records and Alberta Cross' The Thief and the Heartbreaker a seven song EP on Geffen records.
Oakley Hall was formed in 2002 by Pat Sullivan, who plays guitar and sings vocals. After going through a few lineup changes, the Brooklyn based band has settled on a combination that gives them a very tight electrical sound with heavy fiddle in the mix. Female vocalist Rachel Cox completes the lineup. The vocal interplay between Sullivan and Cox is reminiscent of John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X. The songs range from Countrified Indie Rock like, “Rue the Blue”, the psychedelic influenced title cut “I’ll Follow You,” and even the chamber pop intro of “First Frist.” While the album shows the alt-country influences of Son Volt, Old 97’s and others; Oakley Hall has their own formula that really works. Fresh off a tour with Bright Eyes, Oakley Hall may not be under the radar too much longer.
Stream the Album
London based Alberta Cross is the brainchild of songwriters Peter Ericson Stakee and Terry Wolfers. The EP The thief and the Heartbreaker was released on september 11th. They have a clear Americana influence. Influences of Blues, Folk, Gospel and Country abound. However, they mis these influences with atmospherics not unlike the Shins or the Decemberists. The result is something that sounds very original and will almost certainly lead to bigger and better things.
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Check out the video to "Hard Breaks"