Fugitive & the Vagabond, the Brisbane (Australia) alt-folk band, is made up of Jordan Merrick (Songwriter, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica), Morgan Palmer (Guitar, Vocals), Damien Tuffield (Drums), Jonny Smith (Keys) and Louis Devereaux (Bass). I am entranced by both the musicality and the clever and thoughtful lyrics of “Novella”, the band’s new 10 track album. As a whole the album considers the nature of love, loneliness, longing and desire, with a few humorous twists. The vocals and instrumentals are both energetic and polished as one would expect from a band of this caliber.
Fugitive & the Vagabond’s overall style on this album is a charming blend of alternative folk-country and rock. This is a recording that makes you think and makes you happy at the same time. This is a band and an album that anyone could love. The collection of songs contains all of the good things that the Fugitive & the Vagabond’s represent, musically.
There are satisfying harmonies, some great playing of instruments (primarily acoustic), and most of all, a very good set of tunes. In this day of so many overproduced recordings, it’s nice to hear a pure and clean version of this band that allows all of their joy and passion in the music to come through.
From the most basic, stripped-down standpoint, music, well, any art form really, is meant to provoke emotion. Anybody could technically learn how to strum a guitar and sing a tune, but not everybody can make you feel it like Fugitive & the Vagabond’s. This album provides truly thought-provoking music.
Every word is genuine. Each lyric is placed not because it rhymes with a previous line, but because it is meant to be there. This is what I appreciate about this band: a common thread of honesty that winds through every one of their songs.
In particular my favorites are: “You Got Him”, “Talkin’ City Blues”, My Girfriend”, “Queen Of Versailles”, “Lighter and Note” and “The Wild”. There is a heartfelt comprehensiveness to each of these songs that is well aware, in its poetry, of its thoughtfulness.
The lyrics, melodies, and stories all blend from one song to the next making the entire album a beautiful narrative. Are Fugitive & the Vagabond the next big thing in a genre that is ever-expanding? They certainly bring formidable skills to the table.
The plain truth though is that this is a great album, full of unforgettable songs, strong melodies and crystal clear instrumental and vocal performances. The album “Novella” indicates that the band is indeed totally revved up, to fully deliver their considerable potential.