Label: Virgin EMI

Released: 9th February 2018

 

More well-known initially as frontman of American rockers The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon has offered his second solo album since he debuted with 2016’s Painkillers. 

Sleepwalkers perfectly combines raucous rock ‘n’ roll, dreamy acoustic folk and Motown rhythms, sounding as if Fallon has been writing music to this genre since he left the womb.

His trademark growling vocal is present as always, but the experimentation with new sounds and instrumentation is a fresh new take on Fallon’s usual musical output. This is especially obvious in the title track, with the addition of smooth saxophone licks littered throughout the offering, and a romping rock ‘n’ roller beat.

The backing vocals in album opener If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven and later track My Name is The Night are a match made in heaven with Fallon’s usual gravelly tone, and they give a real boost to the subtle Motown feel of the record.

Etta James is a lovely heartfelt but ever subtle tribute to the soul legend herself, with the lyrical themes showing Fallon’s clear connection to this genre of music, which he’s finally had chance to showcase on this recorded output.

The most interesting lyrical concepts come in the form of lead single Forget Me Not. With subject matter ranging from first loves to death, it’s the most eclectic mix imaginable, all set to a back drop of bouncy beats and catchy choruses.

If general listeners weren’t sold on Fallon’s music before this most recent offering, then they certainly should be now. Sleepwalkers is a masterclass in not sticking to the conventional popular trends in today’s music creation. In a world of synth-infused pop and 80’s inspired bops, this album proves that sometimes some simple folk-rock jams are all you need.

 

Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather are touring the UK in February and March. See dates and click on image below for tickets.