The Avett Brothers “The Avett Brothers”

Ramseur Records/American Recordings/Thirty Tigers, 2024

Another high-class and polished album from Americana favourites.

A couple of months ago and, to no little excitement on this site, The Avett Brothers pre-empted their first new album in five years with the release of the first single from the record ‘Love Of A Girl’. It is a full-blooded, rollicking affair that we enthusiastically shared at the time. Now, with the release of their eponymously titled full album, anyone expecting more of the same may be surprised to hear that what the Brothers have put together is an altogether more chilled and, at times, positively dreamy affair.

Yes, there are up-tempo songs; ‘Country Kid’ is an example of how good country music can be in the right hands and full marks for writing Winnie-The-Pooh into the storyline. Featuring banjo and fiddle that fit perfectly into this setting, it is a love letter to the countryside of youth and the realisation that the bright lights of the city aren’t for everyone. Hanging on to its coattails ‘Orion’s Belt’ turns the fiddle up a notch and moves into country-rock territory with the closest match the album has to that first single.

If these tracks stand out in their own right they also exist to highlight the fact that they are atypical of the record as a whole. The rest of the album radiates mellowness and warmth like a favourite comfort blanket. If that appears to suggest a generic sameness to these tracks then that is far from the truth. They are sparser in arrangement yes, piano and acoustic guitar at their heart, but these are beautiful songs in their own right. The vocals are simply exquisite. To signpost a highlight feels futile somehow but ‘Forever Now’ demands to be noticed, oozing class, musically it may be deceptively simple but, with harmonies to die for, it worms its way into the bloodstream like a particularly warm and lazy Sunday afternoon.

These songs seek the sacred in the commonplace; a cheap cup of coffee, the smallest movement of love, broken hearts and school bus lessons, a baby’s first and second steps, growing older and holding on to one’s roots, losing someone and accepting fate, rediscovering hope and finding sanctity in tragedy.

This is a band with nothing to prove. Numerous highly acclaimed albums, nominations and awards have showered them like confetti. Produced by long-time collaborator, friend and early champion Rick Rubin this latest offering does nothing but enhance an already well ingrained reputation for excellence.

8/10
8/10

About Peter Churchill 180 Articles
Lover of intelligent singer-songwriters; a little bit country; a little bit folk; a little bit Americana. Devotee of the 'small is beautiful' school of thought when it comes to music venues.
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Jack Wilson

Can’t stop listening to this eclectic album. It could be the best thing they’ve ever done.