Americana and Folk has seen a large revival over the last ten years with acts like The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers headlining festivals. There is an excess of new Americana bands and singer/songwriters trying to replicate the sounds of these popular acts with no originality that separates them from the pact. But there are bands like National Park Radio that come along and impress with their songwriting and passion that can make one grateful for this acoustic/ folk revival. National Park Radio is a high energy indie-folk band hailing from the the Ozark Mountains and their debut album, The Great Divide, draws inspiration from their love of the outdoors and is brimming with folk anthems.
The first track, “Great Divide” pulls you in immediately with banjo and handclaps alongside Stefan Szabo’s honest vocal s as he sings “the great divide is calling me”. Other standouts are, “Rise Above”, “There is a Fire” and “I Will Go On”, where Szabo sings his hope-filled anthems with themes of family, the open road, and a positive outlook on life. “Monochrome” and “Steady” are rollicking love songs drenched with honesty and stories of real passion and struggles in relationships. Szabo and his crew have a knack for “hook-laden Americana” as showcased on songs like “Ghost” and “Once upon a time” as they struggle through searching for spiritual answers and wrestling with God.
The Great Divide is an awe-inspiring album packed full of Stefan Szabo’s hypnotic vocals and songwriting coupled with some good ole fashioned stomp-along music. This album should push National Park Radio into the forefront of new indie-folk acts with a hope that there will be more to come from these modern folksters.