Saturday, May 14, 2011

Southeast Engine: Nailing the art of the concept album

Southeast Engine © bradsearles
Band: Southeast Engine
Origin: Athens, Ohio, US
Genre: Indie/folk rock

The fact that Southeast Engine recorded From the Forest to the Sea live to analogue tape in a forsaken, 1800s middle school auditorium piqued my interest. I then found out that the band tends to make concept albums, which immediately made me beam with respect and cemented my desire to listen to each and every album from beginning to end.

Southeast Engine’s new album, Canary, which is available on CD and limited edition cassette (cassette!?), centres around the Great Depression and an Appalachian family’s struggle to survive. Sounds dire, but the band’s music is full of sincere emotion and detail, engaging the listener and dragging them into the plot. And, their sound is not without a fair amount of upbeat energy. Their forte definitely lies in storytelling through profound lyrics, expressive vocals and alluring accompanying harmonies. Long live the concept album! Long live Southeast Engine! 

Albums: Coming to Terms with Gravity [2005], A Wheel Within A Wheel [2007], From the Forest to the Sea [2009], Canary [2011]

Resembles: Wilco, Okkervil River

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