Brit La Palm and the Barrel Fever have just released their EP Olde Country which blends genres, switching from everything from alternative to rock and country, bringing in a wide range audience as their listeners.
The album starts off with “City Love,” which just so happens to be the best track on the record. It has a rock/electronic opening instrumental that is captivating right from the start. When La Palm’s vocals cut in, it is clear she is a force of nature. Commanding and powerful, La Palm is full of attitude and swagger which keeps the tune moving along. It has a bit of a 90s vibe to it which perfectly showcases that the band is not afraid to get experimental in their sound. There is a level of funk to this tune that helps bring it into the modern era and with La Palm at the helm singing “I’m waiting for this city love to get old, “ one can’t help but get lost in this spellbinding song.
La Palm on“San Antone” wastes no time getting to the heart of the song as she croons “I’m sorry I couldn’t take you with me/I know how much you love San Antone.” It’s slow and coy and serves as a backdrop to the rest of the track which has more of an alternative country feel. “I know that you’ve been doing more than drinking,” La Palm sings over and over again, with a certain strength and confidence in her voice especially as she lets her lover know that she no longer cares what he is up to and that she is fine on her own. “Sleep with whomever cause honey I ain’t ever coming home,” La Palm tells her man with a sassy attitude that is refreshing and helps “San Antone” stand out on the LP.
Always shifting gears, the record takes a folk turn on “Burn.” It has an undeniably earthy and raw vibe, like something a person would sing around a campfire late at night. La Palm’s ability to switch her voice and mold it into whatever genre her and her band tackles is something to be in awe of as is it comes off flawlessly and effortlessly. By the time you reach this third track one begins to solidify the thought that Brit La Palm and the Barrel Fever can do just about anything they set their minds to. The story of the tune itself has a very rustic quality and sounds like it could have come off any one of The Hunger Games soundtrack, again setting it immediately apart from the previous two tunes.
“Heart is Good,” has a splashy instrumentation introduction that makes way for some of the most honest lyrics on the EP. “I feel so alone and I know you’re breaking bones to get me here/and I’m sorry in advance for the things I can’t prepare you for,” La palm explains in a rock tone that has a later years Paramore feeling to it. It’s a ballad that has a lot of weight, especially in the chorus in which La Palm sings “I’ve broken all these hearts because I knew I could/but what happens when the heart you break is good.” La Palm shows both a tough and sensitive side to herself here and puts forth a scenario that has the potential to be very relatable to listeners. Breaking up never felt so complicated.
Rounding out the EP is the title track “Olde Country.” It has a twangy guitar and comes across as a pure singer/songwriter type of song. It’s the least strong tune on the record, but with powerful lyrics and La Palm using her falsetto effectively to get across her message, it is still a song to remember even if it is not the most memorable track.
Thanks to the songs that came before, on a whole, Olde Country is an album for anyone who is willing to commit to a band that plays around with their sound and is not afraid to do so. Rock, country, alternative, there is bound to be at least one song on the EP for anybody willing to listen.