Formed from the experimental recordings of Evan Walton in October, 2013; the project quickly expanded to include the talents of sound-engineer Brady Lorenzen. Once More, Autumn also incorporate various musicians into their tunes in efforts to make the music about the collective experience itself and not leaning on the talents of any one specific individual. Unified by the strengthening bonds of brotherhood in music – Once More, Autumn are ready to take their captivating brand of indie-folk music beyond its base in Saint Paul, Minnesota and straight to music fans all around the globe with the release of their self-titled debut album in August of 2015.
Frankly, this 6-track album overwhelms me. It is simple and deep at the same time. Once More, Autumn prove themselves to be consummate singer-songwriters here. This is an album of sprawling but sparse acoustic guitars, sprinkles of rich harmonies and some keys, along with superb lead vocals. Here’s the deal with Once More, Autumn though. There’s nothing absolutely new to them. Be it the Beatlesque melodies, the sparse and delicate Bon Iver type arrangements, the lyrics melding anguish with cynicism – there is nothing they do that hasn’t been done in some way before. But that’s not the point.
Once More, Autumn are not pretending to be living geniuses, nor are they claiming to change the face of popular music as we know it, but they are definitely destined to remind us of how incredible it can be. It is impossible to speak of this album in anything less than superlatives. It is one of those few records that necessitate listening, without interruption, from the first to the final track.
The solitude and concentration of the minimal arrangements allows more musical depth, in the subtlety of the intonation or the phrasing of the acoustic guitars and voices, than a more orchestrated effort could possibly achieve. The lyrics, in the tradition of really great songs, are understood better in the context of the music, and walk that fine line between abstraction and articulation, such that the listener understands perfectly the band’s message, though perhaps that message is different for every listener or for Once More, Autumn themselves.
Although all of the songs on the album are well crafted, the deft melody in “Beyond The Pines”, the searching lyrics and vocals of “Foals”, and the bitter-sweet sound of “Nevermine” all stuck out the most for me. The vocals by Once More, Autumn has the amazing ability to make it seem like their singing is an absolute necessity, and the voices are so earnest, you’ll believe every word they are saying too.
There are hardly many artists to compare to Once More, Autumn, not because Evan Walton and Brady Lorenzen are perfectly original but because they have woven themselves in the tradition of alternative indie folk music in such a way that any attempt at comparison would lack dimension.
If you have ever sat in a room and listened to music and just been absorbed by it; if you have the patience and capacity to hear and be moved, then Once More, Autumn is an album that you should own. It’s the kind of album that people will be listening to twenty years from now.