The Comforters, comprised of lead singer Pia Robbins
and her husband/guitarist/producer Jason Robbins, have
released a roots rock/country folk debut record Transplants
on the couple's own indie label Big Timbre Records. The album
is dedicated to Grandma Ruth, and though the liner notes
do not explain who she is, the tribute leads you to wonder if
any of the songs reveal anything about her. The album, which
was recorded in the couple's own studio, Big Timbre Studio,
is very well produced. Every nuance and jutting segment adds
texture to the songs from the rustic tones of a harmonica to
the bucolic twangs of a steel guitar. The bluegrass projections
are reminiscent of artists like Adrienne Young and Will
Kimbrough, and Pia's vocals have a gentle timbre reflective
of Emmylou Harris and Allison Moorer. The Comforters'
album juxtaposes Americana with alternative pop similar to Essex
Green and The Thrills and concentrates on the song's
melodic folk substance.
Americana melodies like "Mia," "Young Republicans,"
and "I Want To Rock" have mellow country folk tempos
and roots rock acoustics while the vocals float above the music
like a weightless celestial body. The dark guitar tones on tracks
like "The Call" and "Driving Off The Edge Of The
World" have a country western tint and roundhouse drum patterns
circuiting the queues along the movements. These songs have a
heavy-footed sonorousness similar to Johnny Cash and feel
scenic and pensive with Cash's style, as if hitching a ride on
a freight train and watching the world go by through an open door.
The bluegrass musings of "Lucy" and "Reasons"
are mild and soulful as the verses come in drifts like the ocean
tide coming up to shore. The easy pace is likened to Robinella
and Shelby Lynne and has a feminine touch in its gentle
The bluesy folk mood of "Saturday Nights" is lounging
with intervals of rustic harmonica segments. The country tinged
rhythms of "Lazy Sundays" compliments the steel guitar
twangs and acoustic guitar twirls that halo the lyrics: "Been
hanging around this house/ Been shooting off my mouth/ Sleeping/
Dreaming/ Just keeping to myself/ Ain't this the life/ Long live
lazy Sundays/ On the porch with the radio on." The lyrics
are introspective, describing situations about alienation and
depression, sulking in their emotional depths and providing insight
into their chasms and solace for their grief.
The Comforters' debut album is very well produced creating
expressive textures that compliment Pia's vocals. The songs
are more than campfire tunes or jug band numbers. They have
alternative pop collateral blending elements of Americana, roots
rock, bluegrass, and country folk patinas. For a couple from
Eugene, Oregon, The Comforters' music has wide appeal and is
just pleasant to listen to on a lazy Sunday in any country.
2. Lazy Sundays
3. Saturday Nights
4. The Call
5. I Want To Rock
6. Young Republicans
8. Driving Off The Edge Of The Word
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