This is one of those moments where I had not been aware of this band; something akin to The Accidentals usually wouldn’t be in my musical purview. But after reading about these three musicians, I thought this might be an interesting listen. The band, whose origins are from Traverse City, Michigan, combine an interesting mix of pop, Americana and folk and are able to blend this into something original and highly satisfying. This newest release, Vessel, their fourth, is a continuation of this roots-y sound they’ve been doing for nearly a decade.
The album’s title track is a sweetly haunting opener; tight harmonies and a solid groove makes this a strong start to the album and was a fine way to grab my interest. It’s also noted that it’s almost under-produced – the vocals are dry and not overwhelmed by effects or mixed low; the violin break in the middle is the perfect balance. “Go Getter”, while upbeat and light, was apparently written under difficult circumstances (death; the pandemic, etc.) and that kind of contradiction is what makes this a standout – the melody, tempo and vocal arrangements are on-the-one and would be a perfect “single”, if the concept still existed. “Rollercoaster” is filled with tight, crisp harmonies – one of this album’s absolute strengths and most appealing elements – and sounds so full and lush with its arrangements. Considering they’re a three-piece, the acoustic guitar, well-placed rhythm section and violin sound big and wide.
“Count The Rings” has a slightly more traditionally “rock”/”pop” feel – catchy, flowing and, again, it has all the traits of a single or radio hit (and is easily another standout track); “Slow And Steady” follows in that same vein – it reminds me (in places) of the late-lamented/oft-forgotten Unrest – minimal, straight-ahead and driving pop with a few skewered notes to keep it interesting. “Fractals” has a deliciously driving acoustic guitar and bass body with (what sounds like) mandolin punches to go hand-in-hand with the (yet again) stellar harmonies and violin touches.
All in all, the 14 songs that comprise The Accidentals’ Vessel are more than I could have hoped for. Pleasing; understated, subtle and overflowing with melody. This is as fine an album as you can get. Looking forward to hearing more from them. And well worth searching out.
Vessel is currently available.