Saddle Creek | Two Gallants | Reviews


The Scenery of Farewell

Author: Angela Zimmerman
06/20/2007 | | | Album Review
Yay! Two Gallants have returned! But damn, it's only with a five-song EP. As to be expected, the whole (short) package is one of remarkable taste and talent, but Two Gallants' singular greatest asset lies in their conscious, heartfelt, achingly beautiful lyrics—the opening a cappella notes of The Scenery of Farewell is a cue (or reminder) to listen to what they're saying. They have real, identifiable lyrics, these two, and they've apparently found the right home at Saddle Creek.

Their past efforts prove Two Gallants to be socially conscious and politically charged, but this short collection of songs (a presumed teaser for their full-length due out this fall) delivers the duo as intimate as we've ever seen them, their usual rollicking melodies absent in a conventional jangly umpph sort of way, offering instead a look into their own personal exploration through weeping reflection on home, love and life. Though the themes may seem generic, there is nothing remotely bland about these guys. And yes, their enormous debt to Bob Dylan as a lyrical, thematic and melodic influence resonates throughout the tracks.

It's an emotional ride, this EP, one which I found myself very appropriately listening to as I boarded a plane with sadness and trepidation to be leaving people I love, haven't seen for years, and likely won't be seeing again for quite a long while. The aptly named The Scenery of Farewell feeds nostalgia but isn't overly sentimental—nor does it have time to become dense or depressing within its succinct five-song framework. Rather, each track is a welcome reminder that farewells require mourning. "Seems Like Home To Me" is a perfectly bittersweet and twangy recollection of antiquated, outgrown love: "Baby when I was underage I took you for my world / the oceans were your eyes, the pastures were your curls / now I'm all alone, stranded in the west." Sigh... The following track "Lady" examines time slipping away in that comfortable hometown: "The sunshine plays the puddles through the mornings, evenings, afternoons / I count my thoughts with coffee spoons / And something reeks of heaven beneath the highway where the hobos sleep." Tyson Vogel and Adam Stephens have been playing music together since they were 12-year-old kiddies in San Francisco, a fact that obviously contributes to their ability to collectively unleash this cathartic woe.

The following three tracks: "North Country Bound", "All Your Faithless Loyalties", and "Linger On" will break your heart. I want to wallow, I want to weep, I want to make this about myself and my own homesickness and my own lost love, but I'm too enamored with this band to look beyond the poetic world they created and have been gracious enough to invite us into.
The Scenery of Farewell

The Scenery of Farewell

LP / CD / MP3