At once vaudevillian and also contemporarily raw, New York's Felice Brothers have been perhaps the key cog in the recent surge of indie roots rock. Their varied sound, featuring horns, ragtime piano and fiddle (among other distinctive noisemakers), lends the group a sincere diversity that even folk-intensive indie acts, such as early Avett Brothers or even Old Crow Medicine Show, have lacked. Listen to the band's proficient output of albums, specifically 2008's Felice Brothers and 2009's Yonder Is the Clock, and it's clear that "indie" isn't only for keyboard-toting husband-and-wife duos any longer.
While their signature song "Frankie's Gun" lit up bloggers' keyboards and many a television show soundtrack, the buzz surrounding this band was already quite loud. And it had to be: The accordion- and washboard-employing collective began playing not in coffeehouses and pubs, but in the trashy, noisy subway stations of New York City.
Plus, the gothic moan of lead singer Ian Felice couldn't be more appropriate for the band's Appalachian-style romps. Actually, Felice's voice would be suitable for the reader of an audio version of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," given how his ragged tone envelops tales of murder and love gone psycho in an alarmingly fitting fashion.
The Felice Brothers, Adam Haworth Stevens
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