Every once in a while, I find myself liking music that is typically outside of my wheelhouse. On top of that, Facebook has gotten pretty good at recommending music that I will enjoy. The latest discovery is 49 Burning Condors, and I’m pretty taken by their sound. Their new EP is called “Truths and Roses”, and it released on August 8th.
49 Burning Condors hails from Philadelphia, PA. That surprised me due to the style of their music, but somehow it makes them even more novel than I anticipated. The band includes Kimber Dulin on vocals, Christopher Tremoglie on guitar and piano, Zachary Rinck on bass, Jason Gooch on drums, and Sasha Ki on violin.
The band plays a folk rock that has several adjectives. Some might call it southern gothic, others might call it swamp rock, indie folk, or alternative folk. Whatever you call it, the band has a groovy, bluesy style of American folk rock that specifically takes inspiration from the Deep South, such as New Orleans, and the haunting visions thereof. There is canter and wallop in their sound that offers incredibly tasty bass grooves, and that is somehow quite addictive. Some of their bluesier folk moments remind me of Alice in Chains’ “Jar of Flies” EP, though I don’t think this band is influenced much by AiC.
I love the overall sound, not just of the style, but of the production, too. The mix is atmospheric and layered, and all of the instruments find their voice inside of it. You will notice that they have a full time violinist, and Sasha is a vital part of their folk sound, whether playing catchy rhythms or more abstract effects. Between the lovable rhythm section, the searing violins, and unnerving guitar and piano, the entire EP rocks with a poignant, yet instantly appealing sound.
Kimber’s voice completes the sound, too. She, at times, reminds me of Courtney Swain of Bent Knee, and I have to assume that she was a fan of Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries. So, she doesn’t sing with a twang, like in American country music, but does sing with a vivid tone full of personality and complex changes in pitch. The band wouldn’t be the same without her.
“Truths and Roses” is a dark EP, but one with haunting beauty. It has six tracks and clocks in around 25 minutes in length. For my money, though, it feels like a full album. The single is called “Marigold Lake”, and it is a great opener for the album. It specifically displays the band’s bouncing, bluesy style, and Kimber sounds completely in her element.
My favorite songs are “Slow”, “Rosaleen”, and “Jim Jones”, though all of the songs are excellent. “Slow” is something of a slow burn, but soon gives us an amazing, groovy folk rock that really works. It feels heavier than many metal bands out there today, honestly. “Rosaleen” is a fantastic track that offers some abstractions and ghostly specters for our imaginations. The instrumental in the second half is truly unsettling. “Jim Jones” is the closer, and the longest song on the album. It has one of the folksiest rhythms on the album, but more in that mysteriously dark American style of storytelling, rather than in the cheesy American folk that we have so much of over here. I especially love the second half with Kimber’s lone voice playing up against nothing but space, after which each instrument slowly comes into the picture, building a wall of folk rock that ends the EP perfectly.
I’ve really fallen for this EP. 49 Burning Condors has the personality and ambition of many bands in the progressive genre, which I think is why I have taken to them. They mix genres and tones with great deftness and skill, and the results are dark and Romantic in very beautiful and American ways. “Truths and Roses” is worth your time and money.
Find 49 Burning Condors online: