by Nathan Cardiff

Folky five-piece band Attic Wolves can sure as hell write a pop song. Their EP Volume & Boldness is bleeding with emotion and lovely sounds. The insane banjo on opener “Here’s To Looking Back” shows the expert musicianship these guys have (And do I hear an accordion? Incredible!). The back-to-back combo of “Here’s To Looking Back” and “Safe & Sound” showcase Attic Wolves’ pop sensibilities. “If you love me you’re a no good fool/Yes, I’m a fool and you’ve got me good” is the only slow moment on “Safe & Sound” before the band launches into another super sonic tune that paints the landscape in vivid color. The harmonies are flawless, accompanying the smoky lead vocals. These first two tracks don’t try to mask their genuine beauty and the band has fun with them (check out the group “Hey!” in “Safe & Sound”).

Volume & Boldness thrives with its EP format, giving us the quick paced folk tunes, following them with two melancholic tracks. “It’s Not Over” (there’s that accordion again!) and “Leave Me Be” are heavy on the heartbreak, building to their crescendos over the quiet guitar and hushed vocal delivery, before all the voices soar. Album closer “I Know Who You Love” fills us with optimism even over the knife twisting lyrics “I know (I know) who you love/And I know, yes I know, it ain’t me” (also the great line “Got a father who’s a drinker and my mother’s been born again”). “I Know Who You Love” embraces a country sensibility with the fiddle accompaniment and sounds like a road song, taking us into the distance and beyond.

What makes Volume & Boldness so enjoyable is Attic Wolves’ talent and creativity (the band’s name is a nod to the show Arrested Development). It’s nice to hear a band have fun, even when the lyrics are breaking your heart.

Favorite Tracks: “It’s Not Over” & “Leave Me Be”

by Nathan Cardiff

Editor’s note: You can see Attic Wolves on Monday, July 21st, at Czar Bar in Kansas City.