Two Gallants Bloom
September 26, 2012 · Print This Article
Two Gallants released their 4th studio album The Bloom and the Blight on September 4th of this year. This is the first we’ve heard from them after a 5-year hiatus during which the drumming half of the pair, Tyson Vogel made his solo debut with his project Devotionals back in 2010. It is a mostly instrumental meditative album and it was released around the same time as his band mate, Adam Stephens’ solo record We Live on Cliffs the same year.
After all this time, it isn’t surprising that their style has evolved in some ways. With The Bloom and the Blight listeners find an unexpected shift in their whole sound. This album, released on ATO, seems to be much more heavily produced than their previous work on Alive and Saddle Creek records. Their folk-punk vibe hasn’t left them completely; however, this is a much more polished album than anything else they have put out before. Stephens’ trade mark finger picking is not present in this record anywhere and is probably one of the things that stood out about them when they first emerged as a band. Their rough and ragged sound was a huge part of their appeal initially; however, this album offers something in a totally different direction, one with smoother edges and corners unbent—with the same amount of passion as always—it is merely in a different form than their audience is used to hearing from them. “Ride away” is the only song on this album that embodies their earlier style, and the throw back is appreciated. Differently, their new tunes present a delicate contrast between fragile, soft melodies and heavy, howling climaxes previously unexplored in their music.
The lyrical style has also taken a surprising turn for catchy and less raw. All said, this album’s sound, though drastically different from the other albums’ is not necessarily a negative change. “My Love Won’t Wait”— about a blatant eerie fixation— and “Broken Eyes”— a relatable ballad about the lingering of one despite all— are haunting, moody songs that impose the same convictions that are present in their other albums, only this time more cautiously assembled.
The Bloom and the Blight still conjures the same feelings and invokes the same demons as their previous three records. They are now finishing their U.S. tour and will be heading to Europe for the rest of 2012. Even after a 5-year break, the two of them still perform with the same spirit and fury that is to be expected of them by fans—the truest of which are not disappointed in their recent efforts. – Sarah Naomi Townsend