The Great Outdoors

Fall

(DDG Records)

Fall, the third EP by The Great Outdoors offers a consolation for summer lovers basking in the afterglow of the falling leaves and rustling sounds of this soft season. Belting out lyrics about ten thousand baby birds amongst a mellow plethora of bluesy sounds, the album shows a softer side of the band whose last work Summer was surprisingly rocky for the folk-blues quintet. The band members are Adam Nation and Steven Wells, who sing and play guitar,  Randy Forrester on keys, bassist Craig McCaul, and drummer Steven Wegelin, and are best described as talented but curmudgeonly. The album starts out with “Under the Sun,” a nostalgic tune about the finality of summer and the progression of time that drifts further and further into a colder place. Frontman Nation sings “Black Water Road” with a Dylan-like intimacy that makes your eyes water. The chorus gets surprisingly loud at one part in “Ten Thousand Baby Birds,” when Wells rips into lyrics like “She’s seen/Better days for me” while shredding his electric guitar. While the band seems at peace with the growing cold, there’s a sense of frustration and anger which is quickly followed by a redemptive softness. At the last track “The Garden,” there’s a chorus singing “will you meet me in the spring time/ when the rain is falling down,” while the strings of a banjo are plucked almost orchestrally. Overall,  Fall has many strengths as a seasonal album, and makes the cold transition a little easier.

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