Accents
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Accents

Albany, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Albany, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie

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"Top 25 Albums of the Year"

"Top 5 Albums of 2012: For a band this subdued, Accents often thinks in very big terms, and the same can be said for its first release, Growth And Squalor. Its lyrics are contemplations on the nature of time and change. Its sound is similarly meditative, though at times it blooms into something a bit more majestic. It's also personal, even painfully so, but never in spirits of passivity or empty sorrow. For all of the wounds that Growth And Squalor leaves fresh, though, it also offers strength in carrying on, and that attitude makes for a folk-rock session both refreshingly upbeat and reinvigorating." - Moses Kim, Muzik Dizcovery


"Accents - Growth and Squalor - Album Review"

"Growth And Squalor is an album that's not just about providing a warm, uplifting refuge from the world...but an active call to make it a better place. It's an album that rails against the attitudes and beliefs that contemporary society invests so much in, an album about how often the things we take for granted are the most valuable, an album that's a call to action for the disillusioned, the jaded and the hopeless. From the very first lines of the opening track 'Divide', songwriter TJ Foster captures this feeling, and although the track is gently gorgeous, full of haunting, fragile harmonies, rollicking drums and guitars, the message behind it could not be any graver, nor more important. One attribute of Accents' work is its precision both in building its themes and letting them bloom organically within the songs themselves. Foster has a fantastic ear for arrangements that draw out the significance of his lyrics, a skill reflected in the quality of the songwriting. Take 'The Fog', a song about dealing with both the urge to stay where you are and the need to move on, punctuated with wistful anecdotes like, 'This is my heart / It's the only artifact that I've held onto / Not the letters that I never sent to home when I was growing.' The song is packed with buzzing, powerful guitars and the thumping of drums, tangling music and words together before they are one and the same. At other times, the words take precedence, such as on the sparse ballad 'Storms'. Foster's lyrics draw out a clarity and sincerity in the song. Lines like 'There's a hole in our chests that tells me love is no victor / It stays where it is and then heads south just for the winter / All the birds in the sky watch it float on home to its kingdom / I know there's a storm that will find us all' show the struggle between hope and despair that Growth And Squalor reflects. 'The Low' is another track that works within this divide, a bittersweet confession of inadequacy that concludes with an attempt to reach out: 'If you swim your way to me and lay your body down in my hands / I'll show you who I am, you'll be in all my plans / I'll have a lot to say if not too late.' Foster has a fantastic way of using stark imagery to capture his themes, and that strength is most evident in more subdued tracks like 'The Low'. The thematic implications of Growth And Squalor are both individual and collective; they're as much about the ills of our culture as they are about the ills of our relationships, and Foster gets great mileage out of exploring both the seemingly futile present and the future we have the power to change. The upbeat, resolute 'Alright With Me' is one of the more hopeful tracks on the album, acknowledging that today may not be perfect, but that tomorrow is always there. As Foster concedes, 'I've been wandering for years among the statues / Of beings with much more sense than I / But time isn't endless and it could leave us soon / So if you're alright with me, I'm alright with me,' the track quiets to a hush, but the layers only pile on; the drums take center stage, then voices begin echoing in, the guitar returns, and the track climbs to its emotional high: the peak, it's a fleeting glimpse of sun on an otherwise cloudy day, and it shines even more radiantly because it's a completely earned moment, breaking through the haze and beaming at us. 'Sorrow' is the last and longest cut on Growth and Squalor, falling only seven seconds shy of the six-minute mark, and not a single one of them is wasted. It begins as a solemn ballad before it crescendos to a stunning anthem. 'Heaven's around in a most unlikely place / If we run, we might miss it / So put on your shoes with the laces extra tight / Because we've got a world left to cover,' coos a duet of voices, before they are joined by a choir of friends, closing out the album on a distinctly uplifting mantra: 'Don't wait 'til tomorrow, let's turn this sorrow into steam / Because this time that we've borrowed, it amounts to more than what we need.' Growth And Squalor is a warm, honest and insightful look into our world today. It is a message designed to reach as many people as it can. It's a gorgeous, atmospheric slice of indie-folk music. And in any case, this is one of the best albums of the year [9.5/10]." - AbsolutePunk.Net


"Choose your own adventure"

"If you're like me, you loved Growth and Squalor and just couldn't wait to hear more. Well, lucky us! Tall Tales is Accents' next entry into an already stellar discography. Sporting three new members, the new and improved Accents is folky and feel-good indie rock. With their complimentary male and female duets and penchant for storytelling, Accents are basically what like The Decemberists would sound like on anti-depressants." - Decoy Music


"Accents writes folk and pop-punk–it works perfectly"

"Is folk a mindset or a sound or both? The answer Tall Tales provides is a giant yes to all. Accents new album is built out of fingerpicked guitar and emotive vocals, expanding from that foundation into genres like folk orchestra (jubilant opener 'Hold Me Close'), indie rock (the pensive 'Artist in Denial') and even pop-punk (the impressive 'I Wasn't Looking for You'). Some tracks forsake the folk backdrop and just start out in other genres: the excellent, hopeful '90s pop of 'Reminders'; the anthemic Mumfordy folk of 'England Awaits' ; the noisy indie-rock-with-horns of 'Heart in My Room.' But even through all these genres, the album holds together excellently; it's that folk mindset coming through. Accents decided that if you want everything, they can give it to you: guitar rock, orchestration, female vocals, male vocals, hushed songs, brash songs, catchy songs, thoughtful songs, big riffs, the whole nine yards. There's a pipeline between pop-punk and folk-pop; Accents is the house band for that pipeline. This is a brilliant accomplishment that in lesser hands would be a disjointed mess. Tall Tales is very worth your time." - Independent Clauses


"REVIEW: Accents - Tall Tales"

"Fuck a sophomore slump, folks. This new Accents full-length is better than the last. Accents have gone from a duo to a quintet. The addition of members really expanded what they are capable of doing. Having three additional full members has added more depth and color to what the band is doing. It's a remarkable growth in a short span of time. Tall Tales is really a stronger record for it. The addition on Lauren Alexander is the most noticeable change to me. She and TJ Foster work well with each others voices, and having more of her is not a bad thing. Beyond the new additions, there is a lot to like. The band still writes great hooks and big choruses. They have maintained their indie rock / indie folk sound that worked so well on the previous full-length. This record has taken the things they did well, and just refined it. The production is spot on again. The record is sequenced almost perfectly this time. All the rises and falls hit right where they should. Each part of the record is strong, versus being front heavy. There is a lot more diversity to the record as well. 'Los Angeles' is the closest to a straight up folk song the band has made yet. 'I Wasn't Looking For You' is a driving, uptempo rock song. 'Sore Eyes,' the closer, builds to a great conclusion for the record. There are great mellow, folk influenced songs. There are high energy indie rock songs. Most noticeably, there are great vocal harmonies throughout. Long story short, Tall Tales is a document of how great a band can get in a relatively short span of time. This record is a keeper." - Joe Kelly, Team Reasonable


"Accents - Tall Tales"

"Critics were pleased with Accents' sheer honesty and sincerity in both songwriting and execution by lead vocalist TJ Foster on their commendable 2012 debut Growth & Squalor. Two years later, Accents return as a quintet with the release of Tall Tales, an album that marks a massive switch from their debut record. The increase in 'stadium size' sound brings thoughts of both Mumford & Sons and the brilliant Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men. As the first album revolved around the hardships of growing up, the sophomore release echoes acceptance, adulthood and thereby nostalgia of days passed. In essence, it is a much more warm release. The partnership in vocals gives way for some great harmonies. For example, in the simple yet wonderful Los Angeles which hints at some sort of political motive, though done through tasteful abstractness. The melancholia of the first record is however not completely retired as the track Artist In Denial allows for Lauren Alexander's vocals to soar above a warm acoustic backdrop, and a gorgeous drum section. Likewise, The Only Drug gives way for TJ Foster to sing without the bombastic instrumental backdrop found in other songs. Storybook Man introduces one of my personal favorite additions in the form of a tangy ukulele, complimented by a groovy bassline and synth chimes. England Awaits immerses in the best Mumford style with a warm full bodied down-tuned acoustic guitar. One of the bigger surprises is when I Wasn't Looking For You starts of in a usual manner, but eventually morphs itself into a fully-fledged punk jammer. Sore Eyes closes this very successful sophomore with intensity, one last hurrah with trumpets. The first impressions of this record are second to none. Going to this in the space of two years is a massive achievement." - RockFreaks.net


Discography

TALL TALES (2014, DER556)
1. Hold Me Close
2. Heart in My Room
3. Reminders
4. Los Angeles
5. Artist in Denial
6. Laws of Love
7. The Only Drug
8. Storybook Man
9. England Awaits
10. I Wasn't Looking For You
11. At Your Weakest
12. Ellie
13. Sore Eyes

GROWTH AND SQUALOR (2012, DER537)
1. Divide
2. Way Out
3. The Fog
4. Storms
5. With the Light
6. Alright With Me
7. The Low
8. Around
9. Routine Movements
10. Sorrow

Photos

Bio

In mid 2012, Accents came out of nowhere with an astonishingly mature debut Growth And Squalor that bled pure indie rock bliss. Now back as a five-piece, the soon to be heralded Tall Tales (featuring Hold Me Close) sounds more like their fourth or fifth album together, not a sophomore effort with three new members. Certain to cement the band as far more than a one-genre pony, Tall Tales epitomizes synergy among musicians. Listening to the album is like peering into a complex machine, observing every individual element as it performs its critical function... all pieces and parts focused towards the same end. Tall Tales offers a diverse set of songs with a wide range of styles, but it's the honesty behind every note, every melody and every lyric that undeniably threads them all together. Whether the tale you're listening to is fact or fiction, one thing that's certain is that it's the absolute, concentrated best of what each of these fine musicians has inside themselves. 

Recommended For Fans of: Mumford & Sons, Papermoons, The Lumineers, Fleet Foxes, Noah And The Whale, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Bon Iver, Beirut 

Band Members