Ghost Mice / Saw Wheel
Hill Billy Stew
This is a nice little split between two pretty different acoustic folk bands, demonstrating some of the variation in independent folk music today. Chris Clavin fronts and writes the songs for confessional boy/girl duo Ghost Mice, with Hannah filling in on frenetic violin and punk-y background vocals. It’s stripped-down and direct, delivered with a ferocious bounce and charming presence. The songs are somewhat sketch-like, and not too overwhelming individually speaking. But as a whole, these seven tracks leave one hungry for more. A weird and exciting new acquaintance.
Saw Wheel is less punk and more alt-country inspired, and their songwriting is perhaps a bit more conventional than that of Ghost Mice. This is still a pretty good 6-track set from this drum-less Cleveland quartet though, with the music dominated by R.J.’s rusty voice and the band’s careful strumming. Unfortunately, Saw Wheel sound a bit stiffened by the whole studio situation; it would be good to hear them loosen up a bit more. It’s promising stuff, for sure, although they fail to live up to Ghost Mice’s set.
Hill Billy Stew: firstname.lastname@example.org