[Album Review] The Artisanals Self-Titled LP Brings Flower Power Back
The Artisanals consists of four members who each led nomadic lives. Johnny Delaware (Vocals), Clay Houle (Guitarist), Josh Hoover (Drums) and Eric Mixon (Bass), will be releasing their ten-track, self-titled LP on September 21. Using a mix of Indian sitars and Chinese guitars, the band has somehow managed to put wanderlust into their music giving us something so familiar, yet so new. The songs are reminiscent of the California dreaming of the 1960’s with a dash of Tom Petty, a sprinkle of Ryan Adams and a pinch of Jackson Brown and Warren Zevon, all mixed together smoothly to create the unique sound only The Artisanals can make flow from their fingertips.
The introduction is a sweet, melodic, ethereal, sitar solo that makes you wish you were meeting your Guru. The Zen flows easily into the first title, “Angel 42,” a psychedelic, Warren Zevon-ish tune about love and loss that makes you long to trip on psilocybin while dancing in the middle of a meadow somewhere wearing nothing but the moonlight and a flower crown.
The second cut, “First Time” is a song about first love and all the ache and longing and bittersweet pain that accompanies it. Johnny Delaware’s voice explodes with emotion, taking the listener back to their first love, the first time they spied that love and the raw heartbreak that always goes along with that first love. The Chinese guitar gives this song the feeling of being taken back in time to a pain that has healed into a jagged scar. I can picture the band smoking a joint listening to Ryan Adams records to get inspiration for this track.
It’s like the band brought out a Ouija board to channel Tom Petty in the song “Grow with You,” something every Petty fan would be proud of. The hypnotic bassline, killer guitar and drums paired with the vocals of Tom Petty’s ghost is the perfect combination. Each song on this LP has a deep, guttural soul -- so much emotion that it’s hard to decide which one is the favorite song as each one on this LP has so much raw emotion that it’s hard to decide which one is the favorite.
The 5th song on the album, “Roll With It,” an inspiring song that makes the listener feel like no matter what is going on in their life; it’s all going to work out in the end. We’ve all had moments in our lives where things just weren’t going in our favor, and we all have that one song that we can put on and it helps us to see the silver lining, allowing us, if only for a moment, to realize that we can’t control everything this life throws at us. That sometimes it’s best to just let go and roll with the punches. With so much going on in the world, it’s relieving to hear a song that makes you pause and think about how silly, tragic and beautifully strange this whole human experience is, and leaves you excited about what’s going to happen in life.
The Artisanals LP is the album I would want playing during my next road trip, with the sun shining, windows down, the wind blowing through my hair and nothing but the road in front of me. Each song tugs at the wanderlust in my soul, making me feel something intimate and true. Just push play and let the whole album take you for a ride, one you won’t soon forget. For those of us who are self-proclaimed flower children, this is the band we have been searching for, the Beatle-esque vibes of a yesterday that so many millennials have been secretly craving.