Music Review

The Umbrellas – Fairweather Friend

todayJanuary 25, 2024 66

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By – Jason Hamric

Recommended if you like Magnetic Fields, The Pains of Being Pure of Heart, Alvvays

If you are a fan of emotional, feel good, throw back indie rock then The Umbrellas sophomore release ‘Fairweather Friend’  isn’t to be slept on.  Following up their debut self titled album from 2021 they have grown and expanded their sound exponentially, while somehow managing to keep the pure of heart innocence that made them such an instantly endearing band.  While production seems higher, it doesn’t get in the way and somehow makes the album feel more alive.  There’s a comfortability with the songs.  The juxtaposition of the breezy jangle of the music lying under the almost resolved melancholia of the lyrics just seems right.  Matt Ferrera and Morgan Stanley’s vocals pair nicely and the lyrics are written in a voice that everyone can relate to.  They feel important without being overly complicated.  Sweet without being too saccharine-y.  

The albums lead off track ‘Three Cheers’ immediately makes you think of Stephin Merritt, but not necessarily Magnetic Fields – more like “The 6ths” The Verb’d out vocals float through he air and the guitars build into a wonderful frenzy.

Another favorite ‘Toe The Line’ is a fun little romp that really has a pulse and feels almost live.  Almost like it was written 10 bpm slower and the excitement of playing it can’t help but let it almost get away from you.

Next is Echoes, reminiscent of a Sunday’s B-side this will definitely be a fan favorite.  I know it is one of mine!  A timeless melody and a lush soundscape showcases the vocals perfectly.

The track I believe might be my favorite was ‘Blue’ a wonderful acoustic track dealing with sadness, loss and rebirth.  I think we have all felt this at some point and this song captures that feeling well.

I woke up, without a friend
Learned to see the world again
Brand new sunset, brand new sunrise
Starting over to a new life

My old haunts, won’t be the same
Faceless drivers, empty names
Won’t entertain this
Bad feeling of mine
Starting over to a new life 

Waves and sky
Wave goodbye

Another really great record by a really great band on a really great label!  Slumberland Records manages to always put out the best records the Bay Area has to offer and The Umbrellas newest offering “Fair Wether Friend’ is another home run!  Pick your copy up today at a record store near you!  It’ll be the perfect weekend soundtrack to swirl your hand in the wind out your car window as you head down the coast.

 

Written by: jamric

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