Music is difficult to describe with words. That's why you find people using the standard two old fallback descriptors (which are essentially the same): 1) "if you like ________, then you'll like this" and 2) "they sound like ________." I try my best to avoid using these, but sometimes it's impossible. Take Apostle of Hustle and their new album Folkloric Feel, for example. The band is essentially a spin-off from Broken Social Scene whose You Forgot It In People was one of my favorite albums of last year. That album is a starting point for Folkloric Feel and I can honestly say that if you like Broken Social Scene, you will like Apostle of Hustle. But that isn't to say they necessarily sound alike.

Of course, the music is tough to describe. The album has a certain feel of a side project, for sure. There is a sort of a haphazard, thrown-together feel to it like there were lots of ideas for songs, but few fully developed songs on their own. Tracks seem to cut off in the middle of sections or start without proper beginnings. The opening, title track, seems more like a compilation of three short songs rather than one coherent idea. Without the proper guide, it would be a tangled mess, but under the guidance of true artists it's an endearing piece of work. You Forgot It In People was a masterpiece; Folkloric Feel is an arts and crafts project.

So, what do they sound like? Or should I say, whom do they sound like? That's another interesting thing about these songs, they undoubtedly sound like other artists, but not just that--they sound like songs from specific albums. "Sleepwalking Ballad" doesn't just remind one of Spiritualized, it sounds like it was written as their version of a song specifically for Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space. Elsewhere I found myself immersed in Neil Young's Harvest Moon, Morphine's Cure for Pain, and, of course, Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It in People. The music is purely unique, though; the abovementioned examples are more like inspirations for the crafting of the music. A Cuban tres replaces a guitar in most instances and lends a distinctively foreign feel to the album. Songs come off as tightly wound pop instrumentals that happen to have lyrics, if that makes any sense. Catchy, moody, fun, that certain undeniably Canadian quirkiness... I love this one.

Aaron Stein
JamBase | New York
Go See Live Music!


[Published on: 9/27/04]

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