Exposé Online banner

Molo — Earthsongs
(Apollon Records , 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-12-18

Earthsongs Cover art

I grew up listening to American Country music. It was frequently played in my home, though not exclusively, and I credit my parents for also including some light Classical music in their collection, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. It was in my teenage years that I discovered progressive rock and jazz, and started to realize that much of what has passed for Country music since the 70s has been severely lacking in originality and imagination. But when I heard Fairport Convention, and then at some point came to terms with the Byrds’ more Country-inflected music, I learned the genre was not completely hopeless. (To be honest, I tend to categorize the Country-flavored music I like as “folk-rock” and not Country.) And the Norwegian band Molo is proof that elements of this music have appeal outside American culture. Their music occupies a territory that owes much to Neil Young, Gram Parsons, and John Hiatt, along with a touch of Fairport’s approach to modernizing folk music. And the thing is, they are really good at it. Earthsongs contains 14 songs, and every one of them is good. The arrangements are full of mandolins, acoustic guitars, electric guitars (both jangly, twangy, and occasionally distorted), banjos, and warm, personable singing. The lyrics are down-to-earth, sincere, and memorable. Elling Ulvestad’s lead vocals are warm and soulful, with an appealing hint of grit and only the occasional touch of an accent. So for fans of progressive music, I say, “Do not fear the banjo.” And for fans of good songwriting regardless of origin, I say, “Molo is the real thing.”


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Molo

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Elton Dean - QED – Elton Dean’s recent associations with Hammond organ specialist Alex Maguire (as heard on HUX’s excellent release Psychic Warrior) have been gradually building over time. QED is one of the...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues