Town Meeting, who just released their EP Geography: Part 1 on July 28th, serve up folk rock in both a retro and modern way that will be sure to engage listeners. With only four tracks Town Meeting show with every song that they are in full command of their sound and are willing to experiment beyond what one might expect from a present day folk act.
The title song “Geography” is very focused on the content of the track with a stripped back instrumentation of mainly just a guitar. It’s quiet and allows one to take in the rich vocals and the simple but intricate lyrics that talk about matrimony and sacrifice among other things. The tune opens with the lyric “I know I broke it but I wanna make it right,” and it really sets the tone of the song. Storytelling is key here as the lead singer croons “I’m full of music/used to losing fights,” and while each song on the EP is a masterful tale this one is the tune that will likely resonate with listeners most. Unassuming with subtle harmonies that never overpower the vocals, and heavy lyrics paired with light instrumentation make “Geography” a perfect little package of folk music.
“New Hampshire” is where Town Meeting loosens up the reins a little and starts to think outside the box. Presented as a live one take recording of the song with laughter and talking, the song is nonstop fun. Fast paced and with the most energy this reviewer has heard of any song in 2017, it feels as if one is in the room with the band, just hanging around at a party, watching and listening to them perform the tune. Harmonica solos and handclaps further make the song more interesting, as does the old fashioned almost country like vibe of the track. Lively and rowdy one can’t help but get swept up in the good time that the band seems to be having. An ode to New Hampshire, that according to Town Meeting never fails to give them an answer when they have questions, it is a thrill ride for folk lovers and plain downright refreshing.
Closing the record is “Every Song” a ballad about how nothing creative is ever truly new and borrows from one source or another. Still the lead singer talks about looking for stories that haven’t been told while he’s on the road. In some ways it is a portrait of a songwriter “writing down dreams” and wanting to know what it all means. It’s the most intimate song on the entire album and while it may not connect with everybody because it is so personal, it is a treat to hear the band being so candid, raw, and vulnerable while also addressing how everything in a way is recycled. Songs have a way of touching the soul and this song does just that. Beautiful and introspective it gives some insight to being a musician and takes listeners along for the ride.
Check out the EP and discover for yourself the magic of Town Meeting.