Run Boy Run – Something to Someone (ALBUM REVIEW)

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runboylpPolished and clean vocals and instrumentals are what you’ll find on the new record from folksy darlings Run Boy Run. Something to Someone is light and sweet, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in depth or certainty. Made up of brother and sister Matt and Grace Rolland, sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland and Jen Sandoval, and bass player Jesse Allen, the Tuscon, Arizona-based quintet gives the graceful ladies center stage on Someone—their three diverse voices playing off one another in lush, angelic harmonies.

Though Someone often becomes theatrical, the songs on the record thrive on this drama in the best way, injecting so much spirit and feeling. Every note is saturated and full-bodied, even the wispy ones, particularly on ballad “Heavy the Sorrow”, a dark Americana tune with a haunting melody and some of the more toned down vocals on the record. Adding to the richness of the female vocalists are the string instruments. The cello, fiddle and mandolin play off each other to create a big, old timey sound that’s fanciful, but perfectly crafted. “Sunday for Larks” shows their precision with the sweeping string harmonies, and is a magnificent visual soundscape.

“Under the Boughs” has perhaps the catchiest chorus on the whole record, despite it being one of the more traditional tunes. “I’m a long, long way from my home,” the women sing, powerfully and earnestly. It’s not hard to see why Run Boy Run has been touted by NPR and boast appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion”.  This is truly folk music for everyone to love.  Their sound is pleasant and accessible, and their songs are crafted with the utmost thoughtfulness. Even when they’re singing of dated things like dowries, we are sucked into their detailed storytelling.

Their dreamiest songs are their most elevated, like “Spin a Golden Thread”, a multilayered song diverse in its harmonies, and the title track “Something to Someone”, a pretty lullaby-like tune that’s soothing and peaceful. “Momma, Won’t You Tell Me What to Do?” is one of the more upbeat and infectious songs, featuring the most impressive fiddle solo of many.

Even if a less buffed bluegrass sound is more your thing, you can appreciate the ode to traditional roots music that Run Boy Run manifests in their sound. They’re seasoned and timeless, and it’s clear they really love this journey they’ve embarked on, which will no doubt lead them to folk festivals all over the country.

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One Response

  1. Saw this band in 2012. Looking at the new promo pic above, an overactive label stylist got ahold of them and turned them into the Lumineers, Mk. II

    A shame.

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