The New York based but New Zealand bred Streets Of Laredo have just released their debut album at times boisterous, indie Folk, entitled ‘Volume I & II’, released on the Dine Alone label. The band was founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarahjane Gibson in 2012, with the trio transplanting themselves halfway round the world to Brooklyn after just one home town gig. Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic mayhem. Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own. and that’s how WithGuitars became more aware of the then fresh outfit.
A quick trip back to New Zealand saw the band record the bones of ‘Volume I & II’ – ten songs inspired by their old life in NZ and their new life in NYC – in an old converted Auckland theatre where, courtesy of friendships and favours, they locked down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound. Evident from the opening ‘Everything To Everyone’ which starts easy, as does ‘Lonsdale Lane’ which since the like of the Mumfords, everyone seems these days to rely on that bass drum come folk-fed anthem, with complete with harmonica. it’s some welcome relief to hear third track ‘Girlfriend’ is more robust and lots more effective with a wealth of narrative albeit of everyday life. A change of lead vocal for the potent lyric ably delivered by Sarahjane Gibson on ‘Homeless’ together they work well. As does the noteworthy ‘Slow Train’ as i warm to modern day NZ/US folk not that they will want or need to tear up tree trunks, in a subtler everyday way the band may be as well guarded.
Streets of Laredo have worked hard it feels on ‘Volume 1&2’ with a fair spray of styles encapsulated within the new age of folk. for the most part the album succeeds if a little constricted here and there, given our caution of all things |Country except proceeded by the alt prefix, pleases the 7-piece do not fall into too many traps, even when they do it’s not for too long. 7.7/10
The Band are set to tour the UK for the first time with the following dates confirmed :
03.03.15 LONDON Sebright Arms
05.03.15 MANCHESTER The Castle Hotel
06.03.15 LEEDS Brudenell Game Room
07.03.15 GLASGOW Broadcast