Listen to: The Lone Bellow, ‘Then Came the Morning’

Listen to: The Lone Bellow, ‘Then Came the Morning’

Leigh MichaelSunday,25 January 2015

The Lone Bellow is back! The BK-based trio (whose look and sound might fool you into thinking they’ve breathed every breath in Nashville) has their second album, Then Came the Morning, due out on January 27. Your can pre-order the record on Amazon or iTunes.

But why wait? Until you get the physical copy in your hands, you can enjoy the full album via NPR First Listen.

The Lone Bellow isn’t subtle. They belt out choruses and tremulously whisper the intro and outro. They carve into their respective instruments that it feels like they should have to pause for string replacements after each song. This “larger-than-life flamboyance” (as NPR puts it) can verge on excess.

In their self-titled debut, it sometimes felt like…. a lot. Lots of feelings, lots of passion, lots of everything.  I loved their first album, but it was something that I took bite-sized chunks out of. A song here, a song there. I never played the album straight through in one go. And there isn’t anything wrong with that kind of listening experience, but it does denote a kind of intensity that can feel a little draining. After I got half a dozen songs into The Lone Bellow, I’d find all of these snarky comments entering unbidden into my mind. “Stop being so dramatic,” “Play it cool,”… you get the drift.

But! in Then Came the Morning, it feels like they’ve channeled that “larger than life” element into something that is just a little bit more accessible. The album kicks off with the title track [watch live below], which has an awesome gospel-inspired lead. It’s energizing and wonderful. Ditto with “Take My Love,” which contrasts its [pleasantly] sappy lyrics with a great upbeat rhythm. “Call to War” is lazy and lovely, and “To the Woods” has a folksy vibe that instantly reminded me of “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”

It’s always fun to see a band grow into its shoes. And this already-crazy-talented-group has done just that with Then Came the Morning.

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NPR First ListenThe Lone Bellow, Image Credit: Flickr

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