In 2010, Matthew Kohnle and Jason Socci (previously of DAYBED) secluded themselves in a cabin outside of Asheville, NC. With acoustic guitars in hand, they gave themselves a single mission: write and record.
Three years later we can enjoy the fruits of their labor, Cabin Music; the duo’s first LP under the moniker of Brundlefly and the Swede.
Cabin Music is an adventurous debut, full of unexpected turns and underlined by some beautiful acoustic guitar playing. The record consists of two tracks, “Cabin Music: Side A” and “Cabin Music: Side B,” and each clocks in at around 12 minutes.
With each track fitting nicely on the side of a traditional LP record, this album lends itself perfectly to vinyl listening. And like the title might suggest, it’s the kind of music that deserves to be taken in without distraction. On Cabin Music, there are plenty of bells and whistles, and I’m still discovering new sounds with each listen.
“Cabin Music: Side A” begins with fingerpicked acoustic guitars, further emphasized by a cinematic string arrangement which enters a few minutes in. Later in the track, Brundlefly and the Swede take things to another level in a sort of ‘70s-style prog rock explosion – synths overlay driving bass, and the mellow atmosphere created before is washed away in a Moody Blues-esque climax.
If anything, the first track is just a warmup for “Cabin Music: Side B.” On this side, Brundlefly and the Swede dive deeper into experimentation, with arpeggiated synths echoing to backwards tracks and huge violin swells. There’s even a flute solo. Side B concludes where the album began; with a variation of the guitar theme which opened the LP.
Cabin Music is a fearless record that manages to be intriguing and complex while remaining simplistic and pleasantly mellow. And as layered as the music becomes, it never feels forced – every note has it’s place.
Check out “Cabin Music: Side B” below. Cabin Music is available on vinyl or as a digital download at the Brundlefly and the Swede’s Bandcamp page.
Tom Gilbert is a guitarist (and aspiring pedal steel player) living in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he’s not blogging for Acoustic Nation, eating Thai food or being obsessed with his dog, Tom does marketing and PR for music and audio companies with Mad Sun Marketing.