Arrah and the Ferns
Evan is a Vegan
Bloomington, Indiana’s Arrah and the Ferns’ defining musical instrument is their “banjolin,” a contraption with the body of a banjo and the stock of a mandolin. It’s two complementary folk sounds for the note-striking of one and while there is a distinctive folk bent on Evan is a Vegan it’s not in the traditional revival sense. This trio’s rough and rustic lo fi plays out like mash-up of emo’s twenty-something relationship psychodrama and the steam let off at a backwoods hoe-down. With Carl Stovner’s chaotic and minimal percussion a constant, Arrah Fisher and Dave Segedy trade songwriting duties on tracks that run the gamut from the bouncy Belle & Sebastian inflected “Science Books” to the destined-for-Saddle-Creek dusty plea “Southern Comfort,” plying the rural strums with a bass-heavy keyboard to keep things contemporary. There’s a visceral immediacy to this album that’s lacking from other like-minded indie folk acts and it’s one that should endear this group to fans of Sufjan Stevens, Danielson (especially) and the rest of Asthmatic Kitty’s roster.
Standard Recording Co.: www.standardrecording.com