Album Reviews

Forlorn Strangers

Forlorn Strangers

Artist:     Forlorn Strangers

Album:     Forlorn Strangers

Label:     Self-released

Release Date:     08/05/2016

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Deserving of a bouquet of flowers, just like the ones adorning the cover of their self-titled debut album, the Forlorn Strangers are relatively new in town. Officially, their first show together took place on May 7, 2015 in Indianapolis. Let’s hope they stay a good while longer.

Centered around incandescent, bucolic male-female harmonies – those of sisters Abigail Dempsey and Hannah Leigh Lusk being the most beguiling – Forlorn Strangers is a family affair that gently wraps itself in a warm blanket of Americana, their soft glow reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s mellow California pop gold. Mandolins, upright bass, fiddle, dobro and guitars are employed to cultivate more of a bucolic aesthetic – not surprising considering their Nashville roots – on tender, melodic country-folk meditations “Come Back Down,” “Leave it on the Ground” and “What I Don’t Remember” as refreshing as a summer breeze.

More joyfully shambolic, the horn-swaddled opener “Bottom of the Barrel” could bound down the streets of New Orleans and attract a multitude of saints as followers, while a rustic, threadbare “Sugarcane” sees Forlorn Strangers chasing the ghost of The Band and never quite capturing their essence. At their best, the quintet crafts hooks that lightly tug, rather than grab with a strong grip. “Cleveland” is such a song, wafting through the city atmosphere like smells escaping a bakery in the early morning hours. Go ahead and talk to these Strangers. They’re good people.

– Peter Lindblad

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