“It’s a very melody-driven record, and yet, the material as a whole dodges and weaves in atypical fashion. And this is a very good thing…Listening to Sadie Hawkins for the first time is one of those magical musical moments that just hurtles at you from out of the blue.”
Artist: The Raised By Wolves
Album: Sadie Hawkins
Genre: Pop / Rock
RIYL: Rogue Wave, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie
On The Raised By Wolves’ Sadie Hawkins, there is a charm and lack of pretension accompanied by a truly interesting selection of tunes that both embrace and defy the conventions of pop songwriting. As each song on this release took a turn over the speakers, I found myself more and more surprised not only at the quality of the material, but the maturity of the arrangements. There’s an immediate accessibility to the lyrics and melodies employed, but this is a record that really grows on you as a listener. In my world, that means an album has “legs,” and will continue to reveal more of itself rather methodically over repeated listens.
It all starts out innocently enough with “Cowboys, Hombre,” a fairly innocuous track that gives the listener some time to grab hold of The Raised By Wolves’ sound. However, as soon as radio-ready “Stung (Song for Him)” hits the speakers, it’s clear we’re dealing with a cheeky lyricist by vocalist and drummer Dusty Durston. In fact, it’s this particular song that first hooked me into listening to the bulk of this record. “Freddy Freaker” begins to push the album forward, with “Broken Neck of the Woods” propelling this duo’s propensity for unorthodox breaks in melody in unexpected places. It’s a very melody-driven record, and yet, the material as a whole dodges and weaves in atypical fashion. And this is a very good thing.
“Twin Resentful,” essentially the spine of the album cutting right down the center of the song selections, is really where the material starts to split from sounding even less conventional and exploring a looser, more jangly sound, employing shimmery guitars as on “Strange Acquaintance.” The two real standouts on Sadie Hawkins, however, are “Shangri-La-Di-Da” and the closing track, “My First Song Was Also My Last.” The former is a track born for sunny summer days cruising with the top down or blaring music out of the apartment window. It feels good, treads lightly and packs a lot musically into just under four minutes. The latter shows yet another side of this duo, and one that shows a great deal of promise for the future. Again, a few unconventional choices make this one of the most interesting tracks among the group, and it’s a fitting end to a surprisingly effective set of songs that establish an ambitious precedent for what could be a band to watch out for.
Listening to Sadie Hawkins for the first time is one of those magical musical moments that just hurtles at you from out of the blue. A couple of 22-year-olds who have all the tools they need to make interesting, uniquely branded pop-rock. Sadie Hawkins is a purely indie pop release recorded in a “godforsaken basement” and brilliantly pulled off by a duo laying down all the vocals, drums/percussion, guitar, bass and keys on their own. The result is a diamond in the rough; with a little bit of polish and the right presentation, its valuation will only increase.
The Raised By Wolves: http://music.theraisedbywolves.com/