From the initial guitar twangs, the homegrown drum beats, and slightly weary vocals, it seems clear that Slim Loris are set on bringing back bona fide Americana in a big way. The indie rock outfit incorporates folk rock sounds into their music, and their sophomore album finds the band taking on a more put-together production style from their 2012 debut album, Down to Earth.
Formed in 2009, Slim Loris is far from what the band name and music style suggest. The band handle suggests an underground emcee from the late 1980s making a comeback onto the hip hop scene, yet the band is of the homegrown, American folk variety. However, as homegrown as their music style sounds, Slim Loris is actually made up of a few Swedish dudes from Stockholm.
Music and geography have always gone hand-in-hand, whether it’s through the subject matter of a song or record (from “Anarchy in the UK” to “Going to California” or “Sweet Home Alabama”), or through the music itself. The sounds of Motown are distinct and will always be associated with Detroit, even if a band from China is making Motown-style songs. A rapper from Idaho can have the Atlanta sound in their Dirty South-style rap, and a jazz band from Colombia can be masters of the Delta blues sound. Slim Loris are of this ilk – though Swedish, the group has mastered the geographical sound of American folkcore, and this mastery is aptly displayed in the band’s new album.
Slim Loris put themselves on the indie rock map with 2010’s collection of demos, Amateur Night at the Asylum. After the release of the band’s acclaimed debut, Slim Loris went back in the studio to work on perfecting a more mature and polished sound, and the result is Future Echoes and Past Replays. The album kicks off with the upbeat “Fear of Flying” and melts into the traditional tinges of “Head on the Floor.” The grand guitar riffs of “Domestic” and “Visions of Tomorrow” are Americana at its best, while the dramatic four chord changes in “In Silence” sound like the beginning of an epic Queen song.
The band shines most when working in this Americana vein, echoed in the twangs of “Clean as a Whistle” and the shuffling drum of “Norah.” This sound makes up most of the album – the remaining third finds the band taking on a more introspective approach, with piano-based ballads contrasting the earthy vibe of the folky tunes. Although some of these songs are as poignant as the band’s more upbeat numbers (such as “Awakening” and the pleasantly simple “I Will Forget”), Slim Loris’ forte comes with their grasp of the folk ethos that defines their sound.
Fans of Mumford & Sons, First Aid Kit, and the Avett Brothers are sure to dig the rooted styles of Slim Loris, and Future Echoes and Past Replays will be released and available to download on the group’s Bandcamp page on May 19, 2013.