Album Review: Neulore – Animal Evolve

I first stumbled across the Nashville based duo, Neulore, in 2010 with their Apples & Eve EP.  I thought it was a great introduction to the band and couldn’t wait to hear more. Fast forward to present day, and Neulore is finally releasing their debut full length album, Animal Evolve and it was definitely well worth the wait. I didn’t get a chance to listen to the album until about two weeks after it’s release, but it’s been just about all I’ve been listening to since.

Animal Evolve starts out ambitiously with “3”. A single notes repeats with a hypnotic chanting over it and it isn’t long before the drums and guitars kick in, dropping off for the opening verse. While the band is described as “modern folk”, I would say that their sound is so much more than what you’d probably expect. “3” is a great example of this because while you’ll hear the guitars and strings that have become synonymous with modern folk, you’ll also hear a myriad of other sounds that a bit more difficult to classify with a single instrument. I wasn’t surprised to read that the duo turned to less conventional items to create their sound. They would use a chain beat against the ground or simply tap their thighs to create the beat and find new ways to stack different instruments playing the same part to create something completely new. It adds so much depth to the album.

Neulore has gained a bit of attention for their first single off of Animal Evolve, “Shadow of a Man”, after it was used in Grey’s Anatomy. It’s definitely one of the catchiest songs on the album, I know it’s been playing on repeat in my head for days now. The stomping beats, bright guitars, and sing at the top of your lungs “Oooooh Oh Oh’s” make it perfect for radio play. “In The Orchard” slows things down a bit, using an electronic beat in the background with some bluesy guitars and vocals. It’s like The Black Keys meets The Civil Wars with just a pinch of jazz making it a definite highlight of the album.

The general story telling aspect of folk is definitely there, with so many extra elements added to make Neulore stand out. “Cinema has always affected the way we think,” Adam Agin explains. “The music has to match the visual we’re creating. We’re huge fans of movies, so it’s natural for us to dream up some sort of visual scene and then figure out how that scene would sound.” Animal Evolve is very cinematic sounding, with so much drama placed in each song. You can hear the story they are attempting to tell both through the lyrics and music.

Adam Agin and William T. Cook put a lot of time into this album and it pays off. Apparently they also have the next album ready to go when the time comes and if it’s anything like Animal Evolve I think there will be no worries about a sophomore slump.

You can get Animal Evolve on Amazon and iTunes.