Album Review: “From the Spark” By Grizfolk

Up-and-coming electro-folk group blazes to life in a solid, first-time musical outing.

Rating: 3/5

Release Date: Feb. 25

Googling Los Angeles/Stockholm-based band Grizfolk confirms the band’s folk- and country-tinged bluegrass roots, turning up the group’s mascot of sorts: a bearded and shotgun-wielding man in a cowboy hat and … 3-D glasses? Grizfolk’s kooky twist on the expected sets up “From the Spark” nicely as an EP; Grizfolk plays a laser-infected brand of indie rock, one that struts to its own rhythm, looking at traditional hooks through new lenses.

Opener “Hymnals” sets the stage with echoing piano and skittering drums, settling lightly over a stomping dance beat before soaring away at the chorus. An electronic pulse runs warmly through the four tracks, and Grizfolk forgoes a modern pop pitfall by keeping this side of the equation tastefully subtle, letting it expand to the foreground without obscuring any instrumental roots. At times, this concept melds deliciously, as in the shuffling sway of “The Struggle” — guitar and keys interlock and overlap in an organic swell, while vocalist Adam Roth resonates, “He turns around and sees the world he knows fall apart / The struggle you are up against makes you what you are.” Other times, though, it bloats into stereotype. “Vagabond” feels unique enough to start, with soft drips of percussion and wandering piano, but it opens up into a chorus too lazily anthemic to sit comfortably among its three fellow tracks. Thankfully, a highlight waits just around the corner: “Wait for You” tastes the most of the band’s country roots and is all the better for the dancing flare and harmonized croon that brings the EP to a close.

As “From the Spark” is Grizfolk’s proper debut, the slight dips into cliche can be forgiven. What keeps the band on repeat is the enthusiasm it bring to its infusion of dance and folk, and its undeniable knack for crafting infectious songs from it. For a four-song EP, “From the Spark” makes its mark.

 

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