Smiles and Frowns
Debuting their eclectic brand of “indie folk,” Revolver have released their first LP Music for A While. This album showcases the band’s brilliant vocal harmonies and masterful orchestration and arrangement of musical instruments and melodies.
Music for a While is filled with flowing vocal melodies, background ooo’s and aah’s, and three-part harmonies. At times, they project a feeling of light-hearted jubilation and at others, dreary sadness and loneliness. Descending and ascending chromatic scales are skillfully used throughout the album. A folk/country influence can be heard as if you were listening to the soundtrack of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
In addition to Revolver’s distinctly folk sound, this album has rock elements such as Brian Setzer-style electric guitar. Revolver developed their style from the chamber music and sounds of Paris, France. They employ guitars, piano, drums, cello, and upright bass. Some songs have a scuttle buttin’ feel achieved with brush drum sticks rapidly beating a snare drum and the alternating root and fifth bass line of a jug band.
“Get Around Town” has reggae-style off-beat chords and a catchy chorus. It sounds like a doo wop song by an a cappella group in suits, top hat, and cane musically telling a story. “Do You Have a Gun?” features tambourine and a sullen mellotron. The lyrics “Have you seen that girl?” are sung in a low, somber voice that projects gloominess when paired with minor chords.
“Untitled #2” and “Birds in Dm” are both sad day songs with the cello in full effect. “Untitled #2” uses the lyrics “I’m a stranger here” to project the feeling of being an outcast of society. “Birds in Dm” has spooky oohs and a dark, open string guitar part.
From dark and dreary to uplifting and toe-tapping, the songs on Music for a While are short, sweet, well written, and unique. Revolver’s vocal melodies are stellar and their musical skill makes this unique album a real gem.