Written by Maria Arroyo
Americana/alt-rock band, The Harmed Brothers, share their masterpiece of an album, Across The Waves. Hailing from Ludlow, Kentucky, this group of musicians has created the perfect blend of optimism and nostalgia with incredible storytelling abilities to create an album that could live on a lot longer than most.
The Harmed Brothers are Ray Vietti (vocals/guitar), Alex Salcido (vocals/piano), Matthew McClure (bass), Ben Knight (electric guitar), and Andrew Aragon (drums).
The album opens with their song “Skyline Over…” which just screamed adventure and excitement the minute I pressed play. They describe this single as a “portrait of modern American coping and hopelessness; its tired protagonist struggling to maintain optimism and normalcy in a seemingly hopeless era – all the while, it simply implores you to just ‘hold on,’ and ‘keep breathing,’ in whatever way you can.” Something that becomes apparent throughout the album is that they have a way of telling these painful stories filled with such raw emotion, in a way that connects people to the music.
Their next song “Funnies” is another song that is filled with nostalgia and life that brings me even deeper into their alt-Americana world. Salcido says that “the earth is running out of truth” and that this song is “about an old man longing to see the world again through youthful eyes, but alas settling for his favorite chair and the lighter parts of his morning paper.”
Their next songs, “Picture Show” and “River Town,” talk about their home in Ludlow, and how special it would be to be coming back home, even if it isn’t as simple or easy as they thought it would be. Both of these songs have arrangements that were executed very well, and the story that each of them tells through the lyrics is done almost perfectly.
“Born A Rotten Egg” became a favorite off the album, which was difficult seeing as I think I fell in love with the entire collection of songs! There’s a lot of heart and soul that is poured into the lyrics of this song, and the exploration of the lead singer’s vocal registers added a riskier element to the music, which I’m always a fan of. This song, along with “In A Staring Contest,” are both songs that touch on the topic of estranged families and this recurring feeling of nostalgia.
“Where You’re Going” brought a different kind of arrangement to life that didn’t exist in the previous songs. It was a whole new breath of fresh air in the best way possible. There‘s a lot more flavor to their already astounding sound through the different effects in post-production and lyrical content that really ties their sound together very nicely. This song has the best message out of all of them, as the band says that “Where You’re Going” is about “tackling fate with the reminder that essentially all life, love, and loss are part of a bigger cycle. The lesson throughout – wherever we end up – to simply let it be, let it go, and it’ll be okay.” While in this state of self-isolation, I really think this song served an important idea that we should all hold onto.
The album’s centerpiece, “All The Same,” made me jump the fence between liking and LOVING Americana music. The mix of modernness with their killer storytelling abilities is such an incredible combination! “Ride It Out” holds more weight in their alternative rock sound than the rest of the songs, but the lyrics still tell a moving and emotional story. I could definitely make the mistake of running this song on my Spotify until it crashes!
Giving an amazing ending to an already phenomenally executed album is the song “Time.” The Harmed Brothers say that this song, and the one before it, “both revolve around anxiety and a sense of hopelessness, but in the same breath stove to defeat them with mantras that circle back around to the album’s overall dark optimism.”
Across The Waves is nothing short of breathtaking. They manage to create these songs that are sewn together to tell an honest and moving story that can reach the heart of any listener out there. Their music has my body painted in goosebumps that lasted well past the final note of their last song. The Harmed Brothers play with this balance of optimism in the sound of the song, while targeting some serious topics in today’s age that we desperately need. Thank you for touching my heart and for adding one more fan to your world.
Connect with The Harmed Brothers