Much like the smooth writing style of their namesake’s author, Two Gallants are fluid and compelling but most importantly, beautiful. Tales of travel and woe are hardly news to the folk scene, but despite the influence they wear on their sleeves, I can’t help but fall in love every time I listen. Each of their records bring me back to the sprawling deserts of Arizona, or the lush greenery of pure country. Dim bars, sunsets, whiskey and the sun-tinted females of slangy, twangy origin…you get the picture. I’ve heard in passing that perhaps these two musicians are secret lovers, and all I have to say about that is it certainly explains their flawless chemistry. Who could paint a better picture? Two is better than one or three, two is natural, two is fair, and two is intimate. Go on boys, seize my body for to free my soul.
The musical affect of this album is spellbinding to quote Roger Ebert a million and a half times. For all they’re worth, Two Gallants are mostly comfortable, using sympathetic sounds and heavily emotional lyrics to convey the picture of a person everybody wants to know; a good friend who is all the right things when you need him to be, but who is still wise with much pain and regret in his past, more than enough to be a captivating storyteller.
The interesting paradox about these stories is how young the band is, but any of these songs could be sung by the eldest romantic to ever grace a stage. However I doubt he’d be so inclined to boost them with an infinite accessibility like Two Gallants do, and by that I mean whether you’ve come of age in the twenties or just last year, this record will sound to you as recent as any of your favorite artists. And artists they truly are, what with the intricate imagery their music fills my head with.
Instead of feeling poetic like most music Two Gallants favor a lengthier literature – books could be written around these endlessly adventurous themes; their lyrics are hefty and from the desperate “don’t worry” of Miss Meri to the river of tears shed by Fly Low You Carrion Crow, I’ve been torn up and put back together the same way a fascinating tragedy would do. While each song addresses what appears to be a woman, this must be a chronicle of various, past loves for they are never the same and never repetitive, only exciting or heartbreaking.
The two boys play their instruments with such a fire you’d think they’d been waiting long and painful years to get back to their guitar and drum set. Adam Stephen’s hollow-body carries his pitch perfect vocals like an elegant steed and her trusty master. Tyson Vogel commands his drums and makes great use of his cymbals and bass especially, befitting Adam’s sharp yet profoundly practiced singing. You’ll hear a bit of blues, country, rock, and even the courageous chaos of folk-punk…all seamlessly sewn and fresher than they’ve ever been. The sun rises, peaks and sets in every last song.
In the face of Two Gallants I would blush like some schoolgirl for I’m standing in front of emotion itself; it’s pure form. Their self-titled record is one of the finest pieces they’ve ever recorded and leaves me with nothing but hope for whatever follows. To be very honest, if you have any passing interest in the art form known as music it would do you good to hear the crashing tides of this ocean of passion.
’Till my heart turns to steel, ‘till I no longer feel.