The Harmed Brothers: Better Days

Folk quartet The Harmed Brothers seem to be workaholics. Though they’ve been a band for barely four years, they’ve released three full-lengths, with Better Days being the latest installment, arriving less than a year and a half after their sophomore disc, Come Morning.

The Oregon-based group takes pride in their Americana roots, lovingly referring to themselves as “indie-grass,” which may be the simplest yet best way to describe their music. The LP is heavily laced with the cheery twang of bluegrass-inspired strings and soft, toe-tapping melodies. Zach Kilmer, who splits the rhythm section with drummer and brother Ben Kilmer, even plays an upright bass that is very present throughout the record. “Sky Cracked A Smile” is a perfect example of this, with a piano thrown into the mix, producing a natural, classic honky-tonk sound.

Lyricism is one of Better Days‘ most prominent features. Each of the 10 tracks greets the listener with another heartfelt tale delivered by either Ray Vietti or Alex Salcido, both who share songwriting duties. The two have a knack for imagery and can easily transport their audience into the world which they are describing. In “Carolina,” Vietti coos during the chorus, “You make the tall trees shake/You make that earth quake/You make hummingbirds sing out of tune.” The track “Ballad Of Probably Not” is also lyrically rich, telling a story of a man questioning his own intentions and his relationships with the people in his life.

For fans of modern folk-inspired indie rock alike, this record will not disappoint. It takes the same elements found in past endeavors from The Harmed Brothers and continues in that direction, serving as the next chapter in their sure to be long discography.

In A Word: Calming