Better late than never to jump on the Motopony bandwagon: their self-titled album Motopony has been out for a few months and we’re cursing ourselves somewhat for not finding this earlier. Their rain-drenched brand of electrofolk is simultaneously dark and scintillating, with Daniel Blue’s magnificent voice at the helm and the band’s unusual 3-string open E tunings creating a distinctive and memorable aural experience. Blue recently commented on the landscape and mind geography that the Pacific Northwest brings to the band’s music:
We’re not place specific, but I do think our music is born out of eight months of rain in a year and the love of nature because it’s so damn green. There are lots of open spaces. I really love our place, and I think that shows up in what I’m trying to do….A lot of the harmony I see in nature is that strange juxtaposition of worlds that don’t seem like they should collide, that effortlessly seem to be happening in tandem and you can’t take out one piece. You can’t run from it.”
Formerly a designer of some note, Blue picked up the guitar at age 27 to deal with the five year anniversary of his mother’s death. Four years on, having teamed up with the talented multi-instrumentalist and co-producer Buddy Ross, as well as guitarist Brantley Cady and drummer Forrest Mauvais, Blue has written a strong collection of progressive indie-folk songs that are perfectly framed by Ross’s production chops.
The single “King of Diamonds” has been receiving considerable airplay and video exposure. with its compelling tale of a man’s search for something he already has. The standout track on this record, though, is “Wait For Me”, with its confessional tone and gorgeous background vocals. Then there’s the dynamic closer “Euphoria” with lyrics that could have emanated from Leonard Cohen, Daniel’s outstanding falsetto, and a climactic build to the song that’s supported by a driving and suspensefully relentless beat.
Euphoria, euphoria, you come at such a price
Every time I get hold of you I know I roll the dice
Don’t think of Motopony as a folk group: you’ll see from the live performance of “Euphoria” (scroll down below) that their exploration of electronic soundscapes and their passion for performing their material is as crowd-pleasing and as genre-busting as it gets.
Upcoming tour dates includes their appearance at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on September 20th, as well as DeLuna Fest in Pensacola, Florida on October 16.
Motopony’s self-titled debut album is available through iTunes here.
Watch “King of Diamonds”
Watch “Wait For Me”
Watch “Euphoria” (Live at The Troubadour in Los Angeles 05-24-11)