Sincerely, Severely

Morningbell

Sincerely, Severely

For lack of a more accurate term, Gainesville, Florida’s Morningbell have been described as “psychedelic.” Their music never settles in one place and all the quick change-ups leave listeners unable to nail down the group’s attack. Their fourth studio album, 2009’s Sincerely, Severely, is like spinning the radio dial and hearing what happens. “Hello, Dali” uses a mock falsetto to approximate Curtis Mayfield’s early-‘70s soul alongside a rallying group chant that might be heard outside a British football stadium. Singer Travis Atria shows no fear reaching for the highest note in his register and tracks such as “Soul Ma’am,” which strikes up the band with a few introductory garage-rock power chords before slinking into a modern day-retro soul groove, and “Dancing In the Jaws of a Lion,” which recalls the hippie jiggle of Rusted Root, allow him to play around. “Stay In the Garden” traces the Tom Waits of Swordfishtrombones and Bone Machine. All is done with authentic feeling and a sense of adventure.

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