Old Flame “Hush Money” EP review


Old Flame, Hush Money / March 27, 2018
RIYL: I’m stumped on this one–it’s bluesy and heavy

There’s some Springsteen-style hollow rage on Hush Money that creeps up on you. The band’s press release describes its concept as “the culmination of the distilled furry and frayed hope that was the first year of the Trump Presidency,” but there’s more to it than that.

Take this little bit from “Service Industry”: “Sinking in the red / He’s got a hold of me / 11 an hour / Ain’t enough to breathe / Ain’t enough to eat / Ain’t enough to sleep / Ain’t enough to dream.” Our lives are full of frayed hope. Lush and velvety, this record sinks into numbness we’ve all felt.

With tough, strong, and smoky vocals from Emma Ayres and a really complicated, funky cacophony from Sam Perry (guitars, backing vocals), Nate Mondschein (bass…and dude…listen for these bass lines) and Ken Birchall (drums), this is a pretty badass record. It seems like a collection of songs to hear together–it flows really well as well as being thematically linked.

Old Flame were at SXSW this month and are having an album release show tonight (3/27) at The Parlor Room in Northampton, Mass. More shows listed here.

I’ve been getting really nice stuff from Amherst, Mass. Keep it coming!

–Francesca Olsen


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