Band: The Earthly Frames; Musicians: Gabriel Walsh: Vocals, bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, harmonium and drums; With: Graham Hopkins: Drums; Neil FitzGibbon: Fiddle; Daire Mulhearn: Accordion; David Stone Uilleann: Pipes; Mike Ballard: Harmonica; Nikola Vlekovski: French horn; Nikola Ristevski: Trombone; Micko Damnjanovski: Tuba; Maria Grigoryeva: Violin and Lyudmila Kadyrbaeva: Cello
Album: ‘Taped Over;’ Released: April 3, 2023; Producers: Jason Merritt, Walsh and Timothy Stollenwerk
The most spellbinding, relatable musicians captivatingly intertwine their brooding, emotional experiences with beautifully melodic vocals and instrumentals throughout their diverse range and blend of genres. The Maryland-based experimental rock band, The Earthly Frames, is one such act that’s known for their doing just that through their signature chameleonic, full-stop stylistic shifts between their albums. Led by singer-multi-instrumentalist, Gabriel Walsh, the group’s latest record, the 11-track indie folk rock-inspired ‘Taped Over,’ continues their observational, ambient nature with their freeing embrace of bold sounds and themes.
The band’s latest LP successfully mixes melody with melancholy to complement Walsh’s original musical vision. With the enthralling support of his folk-rock instrumental collaborators, all of the songs on ‘Taped Over’ feature spellbinding musical arrangements. The captivating, heartfelt and relatable lyrics, vocals and instrumentals contribute to the album being part of a 10-year project to create a record for ROYGBIV, the sequence of hues that are commonly described as making up a rainbow, with Black and White. ‘Taped Over,’ which marks Blue, is inspired by the musician’s time in the alt-folk-Americana group, Timesbold.
‘Taped Over’ thrives on its through-line of layered, warped sounds that Walsh has been refining for a quarter century. His blend of sophisticated lyrics and vulnerable, heartfelt vocals that explore the darker side of life make his sound entirely unique in the current music landscape. The singer’s vocals and instrumentals are driven by the lo-fi sound of the LP’s production, which gives the songs an overall gritty vibe.
The Earthly Frames’ new release begins with the equally catchy and melancholy-driven entry, ‘My Worst Self,’ which perfectly sets the tone for the entire album. With an enthralling intertwining of energy and emotion. The Neil Young-inspired track begins with a soft blend of guitar strumming and gentle percussion that help create the relaxing pace for the insightful, soulful lyrics.
Walsh softly croons about his experiencing trying to figure out why he’s being his worst self again. He perceptively adds that he’s known all along that what he did in his relationship was wrong, so as a result, he’s left trying to improve his life.
Another stellar tune on ‘Taped Over’ is its third entry, ‘A Few Steps,’ which continues the musical collection’s melancholic, ‘50s rock instrumentals that highlight the musician’s vocals. He croons that as he strives to pursue his goals, he ultimately fell short of his dreams. Along the way, he realizes that he has to take the titular few more steps in order to improve his life.
One of the most contemplative, relatable entries on the band’s latest record is its ninth song, ‘Pixels,’ as Walsh offers one of his most passionate vocals, which are driven by intricate guitar riffs. Also guided by a gentle drumbeat, which amplifies the overall song’s blues and soul-infused rock sound. The relatable, socially conscious lyrics contemplate why people continuously view every aspect of their personal lives, as well as society as a whole, through screens, which skew their perspective of the world around them.
‘Taped Over’ begins to wind down with its penultimate tenth entry, ‘Watch Out For That One,’ which is driven by the country twang of the strings. The instrumentals support the contemplative, stellar lyrics that reflect on an influential past relationship from a person’s upbringing. As the singer croons about how he may forget the at times dire circumstances of the other person’s life, they’ll always remember and consider the debt they owe each other as they struggled to survive.
Walsh proves what a spellbinding, relatable musician he is by combining his brooding, emotional melodic vocals and beautiful instrumentals throughout his stellar blend of folk and experimental rock elements on The Earthly Frames’ latest LP. ‘Taped Over’ continues the group’s observational, ambient nature with their freeing embrace of bold sounds and themes.
The album successfully mixes melody with melancholy to complement Walsh’s original musical vision. With the enthralling support of his collaborators, all of the songs on ‘Taped Over’ feature spellbinding musical arrangements, as well as captivating, heartfelt and relatable lyrics, vocals and instrumentals. The singer’s unique blend of sophisticated lyrics and vulnerable, heartfelt vocals on tracks from ‘My Worst Self’ to ‘Watch Out For That One’ explore the darker side of life, which make his sound entirely unique in the current music landscape.
For more information on The Earthly Frames, visit their official website, as well as their Instagram, Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and YouTube pages.