Arkansas isn’t exactly known for its local music scene, but with local talent like the alt-rock band Brother Moses producing impressive and sophisticated music, Arkansas music has finally been put on the map.
The band — consisting of Fayetteville natives James Lockhart, John Lewis-Anderson, Moses Gomez, Matthew Heckmann and Corey Dill — released their first full-length album “Magnolia” on Feb. 16, warranting rightful recognition from fans and critics alike.
According to a Fayetteville Flyer article, the group formed in 2014 at the University of Arkansas, where Lockhart and Gomez were college roommates.
The group later signed a record deal in Los Angeles and recorded their first EP “Thanks For All Your Patience” in 2015.
“Magnolia,” which was recorded during the summer of 2017 in Portland, Oregon, is a full-length 11-song album, with each song feeling expertly crafted both lyrically and compositionally.
The album has a rare visual quality to it that allows the listener to conjure up images of Lockhart sitting on the front lawn of his girl’s house like in the song “Bushes” and images of the first time he tried a cigarette in “Cigarettes.”
They seem to take their lyrical inspiration from their own experiences with growing up, romantic relationships and friendships, allowing listeners to relate to Brother Moses. The album embodies what it feels like to be a young adult still trying to figure life out.
Lockhart’s voice has a sharp yet relaxed quality to it, but gets rightfully passionate on the more wistful songs of the album.
The song “Try” is like a punch in the stomach, with Lockhart pleading with his romantic partner: “If you love me like I know you do /won’t you show me too.” Every song has poetic lyrics that stand out and stick with the listener.
The album is a good mix of upbeat, mellow and slower-burning songs that exude a multitude of feelings and emotions.This album’s effect is felt both physically and emotionally.
The album exudes the ache of nostalgia and the excitement of a new relationship from track one. It’s easy to dance to; listeners may find themselves swaying to the smooth and melodic music.
“Magnolia” also stands out because of its cohesive sound. The band’s sound is developed enough that it doesn’t sound like an experimental album. The vocals, lyrics and instrumentals all come together to make “Magnolia” a neat and cohesive package.
For a small band to produce an album this engaging is impressive. The album gives the impression that Brother Moses have their indie rock sound figured out.
“Magnolia” is a giant leap in the right direction for Brother Moses. They have the talent needed to take their music further and make a bigger name for themselves.
“Magnolia” could open a window of opportunities for the band to branch out into the indie music industry. The album deserves a listen, and Brother Moses have earned their local support.
“Magnolia” is available for purchase on Google Play and iTunes and is now streaming on Spotify.
Photo from Facebook.