Australia’s Sons of the East’s Palomar Parade confronts the fact that (Thank you, Carl Sagan!) “There are more stars in the universe than all the sand grains on Earth”.
To that, my friend, Kilda Defnut, replied, “There’s a whole lot of indie folk bands, too, but The Sons Of The East are just more interesting than your average Red Dwarf variety because some stars just have more moons and much better tunes”.
The first song, ‘Hard Playing Hard To Get’ is a quick dance step that humanizes the programed percussion with the absolute joy of the band’s interplay of vocals, guitar, and piano.
But that tune pales in comparison to the melodic piano-graced depth of ‘Not All My Fault’, which rivals the New York side street soulful strut of Mink DeVille or Willie Nile. This is deep slow-dance passion. Big compliment, there.
And the harmonica-infused folk-soul pulse continues. ‘You Might Think’ sings with a clever melodic certainty, with an acoustic hope to burn—like one of those Carl Sagan cited more interesting stars, and for that matter, those grains of sand as well. But then ‘On My Way’ deepens the acoustic banjo vibe. As said, this is joyous music. Fans of the very excellent Caamp (from Ohio!) will find a common denominator in a taproot folk honesty. And ‘Tail Light’ gets into a barebones Neil Young passionate sort of tune like Michael Martin Murphy (of ‘Wildfire’ fame!) sold with pretty great folk street credibility. This is ‘Hotel California’ music that (finally!) gets to leave — with its amble bliss intact!
The melodic songs continue. ‘What I Do’ has an infectious chorus and a breezy pulse. Then, ‘Undone’ (not a Guess Who cover!) slows the groove with an almost gospel votive melody that envelops hidden hope, with the best of folk sincerity. And the band’s secret heart is revealed with the absolutely banjo-driven ‘Another Night’, that once again, conjures the very same rough honesty as the currently popular band Caamp. This is a tightly woven folk tapestry. Ditto for the banjo-driven ‘Fool Me’, which adds an organ into the mix. And the country-vibe of ‘No One To Blame’, which to get really esoteric, conjures the sound of (my beloved) Barclay James Harvest, circa their Everyone Is Everybody Else really cool ‘Poor Boy Blues/Mill Boys’ composite song. Another big compliment, there!
And, by the way, fans of the more melodic sound of Canada’s Blue Rodeo will find lots to love here. The song, ‘One Last Time’, certainly conjures the Cuddy/Keelor broad and beautiful unlimited frontier horizon folk-rock sound.
The final song, ‘Early Warning’, slow steps with a blood-pulsed insight that’s framed in a gospel voiced prayerful reflective candle, lit with a gently touched piano. Nice.
Indeed, there are so many stars in the night sky. And it’s important, as William Blake once wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand”. But with indie bands and their always recent vinyl orbits galore, The Sons Of The East hold their own melodic gravity because as my friend, Kilda Defunt, said, “some stars just have more moons and much better tunes”.
Artists’ website: https://www.sonsoftheeast.com/
‘You Might Think’ – official video: