Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk are an indie-rock supergroup featuring Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and M. Ward. Comparisons to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are inevitable. But this quartet isn't interested in sitting around campfires and offering “unplugged” performances or completely indulging in '70s pathos. From the opening hip-hop beats, soothing falsettos, and late-night yacht-rock sax of “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” it’s apparent that many different musical routes will be explored. '70s electric guitars jam out on “Say Please.” “Whole Lotta Losin’”—with its ambitious harmonies and neo-traditional guitar rock arrangement—sounds like a hyperactive Traveling Wilburys. “The Right Place” and “Man Named Truth” tinker with Flying Burrito Brothers country rock. “Ahead of the Curve,” “Slow Down Jo,” “The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me," and “Magic Marker” best represent the styles and sounds most associated with these singers, from Oberst’s childlike whimper to Ward’s shadowy, lo-fi whispers, even approaching the sound of oldtime folk music from time to time.