Acoustic folk duo Belle Of The Fall has proven that musical soul mates do in fact exist. Made up of multi-instrumentalist Tracy Walton (upright bass, vocals, drums) and a beautifully rustic singer in Julia Autumn Ford (vocals, guitar, yukitar, melodica). Accomplished solo artists themselves individually, they team up with the idea of bringing the best of both worlds together and it has resulted in one surprising debut album this year in folk.
“Earthbound” is a 9-track result of busy gigging schedules, generous sponsorships and winning over new fans, also giving rise to the partnership’s rousing boost into the industry. With fan-funded albums under the belts of each of the pair, it’s no surprise how anticipated their first album together turned out to be.
The record opens with a brilliant one in “Sweet Harmony” that just sucks you in to their sound with a bittersweet folk tune that bursts into life towards the ending. Just like the easy-going “This Time”, it showcases one unique thing spawned from their team-up; their soothing vocal harmony capabilities.
Belle Of The Fall’s impressive musicianship shows throughout the short-lived album from the country impressions in the upbeat “Crazy Mixed Up World” to the folk pop tune “Fit In The Pocket”, the latter probably being their most mainstream-accessible track. And the fact that “Many Worlds Collide” is the only song to feature external instrumentalists (a violinist and a slide guitarist) just emphasized the acoustic couple’s buzzing potential.
Julia’s consistent singing performance steals the show for me personally. “Don’t Give Up On Me” best displays her soft and exquisite vocal touches while her laziest recording on the carefree “Earthbound” just does enough to send you in to the most nonchalant state you’ve been in in a while. The title track stands out throughout the tracklist with its ambition theme and tasteful vocal delays that shows the distance with regards to her high-flying dreams being sung about in the song. And the little modulated detour just got me off my seat a little, in a wonderful way.
The penultimate “Greatest Day” is just ta happy-go-lucky song about daydreaming, literally dreaming about the greatest day you could imagine. We get another serving of the Tracy and Julia’s vocal chemistry in “We Are Never Far From Alone”, which is a lovely way to end the song. Even though it is a clearly a bittersweet love song, my personal take on the finale is that it is a mutual agreement that their blossoming partnership is a perfectly working one that will be difficult to sink.
by Michael Andrew Garcia
In Short Words
Criteria - 75%
If you’re looking for easy-listening radio-friendly acoustic folk tunes for your afternoon drive, “Earthbound” isn’t a bad choice at all if you want to expose yourself to new and deserving music at the same time and Belle Of The Fall is a fantastic new musical group to start supporting because this album is clearly a giant stepping stone towards more successes in their blooming career(s).