Front Country - 2019 VFMF
With the release of their debut full-length album, Sake of the Sound, in 2014, Front Country began the nose-grinding work of making their name as a national touring act. Still based in the San Francisco Bay Area, they would trek the 6,000-plus-mile circle around the US for months at a time, introducing themselves for the first time to every room that would have them. If there was any one song from their debut album that they all agreed they had never heard the likes of before, it would have to be the title-track, “Sake of the Sound.” A pop song with a rock arrangement played entirely on acoustic instruments, it was almost as if bluegrass instruments had been unearthed 200 years from now in a time capsule and were re-purposed to make post-apocalyptic modern pop music.
Front Country have been drawn more and more into this peculiar aesthetic, writing and arranging songs that are simultaneously intricate, intense, and infectious. They’ve been called “Roots Pop”: the past is discernible with a wink and a nod, and the future is here. The record, which relies on charismatic lead singer Melody Walker’s songwriting, is a sonic wonder.