Appalachian Apollo | In Dreams There Are No Deathbeds

 
In Dreams There Are No Deathbeds by Appalachian Apollo

Family Average: 5/7

Nature can be scary. I feel like more than often nature is scary. Have you ever seen a worm eat a worm?

Sometimes however nature is not scary. Nature is pretty. I have always appreciate how folk music can kind of tap into this energy. Their sound is able to contort itself into different shapes to horrify, sadden, and astound you.

Appalachian Apollo is down with all that noise. Just take a look at our review of their latest album “In Dreams There Are No Deathbeds”.

Take a look below to see what we all had to say.

 
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Appalachian Apollo has mastered so many instruments and strings them together to produce the sweetest sounds, paired with folky roots and, soulful, thought out, real lyrics, creating a stunning album in full.

“Greeted Bullets” I have been a fan of for some time now, I'm happy to see it finally have a home on an album.  I really love the guitar and simple rattling in the beginning. The lyrics are the perfect reflection of adventure, intelligent and clever. Then that Bob Dylan-esque harmonica strikes. You can tell he is well-read by the words he chooses. Each word and image is thoughtfully selected and translated.

“He didn't have his glasses on” and then the harmonica, I've always loved that bit.

“Didn’t Know the Half of it” is another one I've been familiar with that I adore. This track is

slower, but so beautiful, and the lyrics are intelligent, intelligent, with lots of feeling, emotion, paired with the slide guitar (I think) it just creates the sweetest noise.

You see places, stories, nights, situations, all playing out in your mind as you listen to this album, dripping in moments and memories, realness it is.

“Secret Funeral” is no exception to the thoughtful/thought-provoking lyrics. Some lines that spoke to me were, “You spoke things never spoken since you were born” and

“A secret funeral you never got to mourn in/ except in chicken scratched poems and detached memories.”

The lyrics are so educated, intelligent perfect, and the instrumentals the same, just like a polished, masterful, higher intelligence, and then the voice has imperfections, but the perfect amount to maintain the realness and to contrast the perfection.

I like the random talking at the beginning and end of songs, very real, very Chris.

“Children of the 21st” starts this way and then the windchimes come in and then that humming. A beautiful instrumental track.

In “Irish Rain” lots of feelings are evoked by the words, honesty, his voice, and the music. The diversity shows throughout the songs in themselves.

“To Say Goodbye” yes. Beautiful.

This album grows and grows, it's truly divine.

It makes you think a lot about who you are and what has happened to you and about why you are the way you are, the memories and happenings that have lead to the emotions and thoughts that “occupy your mind” and make you the way you are now.

6/7

 
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The title Appalachian Apollo conjures in my mind that special brand of “feel good folk”. The album provides an energetic, but palatable hootenanny. Fans of bands like Defiance Ohio, Fake Problems, Nana Grizol and AJJ will have heaps to tap their toes to. Tap all toes individually. Wouldn’t that just be the creepiest thing to see? Simmer on that for a little bit.

The entire album has a pretty curve to it. Starting with the more energetic songs it slowly dips into a darker place. The album then begins to ascend back to the level of energy from the start.

 During the dip the listener is peppered with somber songs and soft spoken vocals. The subject matter of the songs turns to touch on traumatic experiences. Favorite of the sad ones would have to be Irish Rain. I am such a sucker for those fingerpicking bits. The song leads us to that third part of the curve I touched on before.

After the 7th song in the album it takes a slow kind of climb back up in intensity. I appreciate it when an album is so mindfully organized. The foot tapping is back and in a big way. Tambourines are thrown in and cuss words!

Appalachian Apollo has a solid defined sound. Chris seems to have a real knack for reigning in a lot of moving pieces to put together something cohesive. Looking forward to hear where they take their sound from here. Maybe it gets really weird. Who knows? Also they have an incredibly difficult band name to spell.

4/7

 
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In this folky rock album, Appalachian Apollo creates a lo-fi medley of relaxing tunes with no shortage of passion. Find a lovely view and sit around the fire with your best buds. Indulge in fond memories past and soak up the mellow blithe of this sweet acoustic sound. Where the typical singer-songwriter musician has a tendency to fall Appalachian Apollo picks up the slack, letting his character present itself through the lyrics and his clear musical ardor shine through the finger-picking.

The album comes together with great harmony. No song is out of line with the overall theme, yet it is certainly not monotonous. Our artist starts it out a bit slower and lets his first song build, creating a great introduction for the songs to come. A few songs have a calmer, airy sound, while some have a very full sound that is louder and more upbeat.

The lyrics on this album contain strong imagery and emotion, which lets the listener get to know their artist. Having know the artist, Chris Reilly, for a number of years, it was really amazing to hear this august embodiment of such a wholesome guy. Definitely looking forward to what is next for Appalachian Apollo.

6/7

 
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I really enjoyed all the places that this album took me. The vocal melody on “Already Left” is an awesome introduction to the meat of the album; there's really something for everybody there. As we progress through the LP one can definitely feel the tracks gaining some steam but I was glad things started to slow back down because that's just a bit more my style and  I was also getting rather hot from dancing. I felt that the vocals paired with the melancholy instrumental felt very reminiscent to When You Land Here, It's Time to Return from flake music which gave me the feeling that I had been listening to these songs for years -- It was like coming home.

6/7

 
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Appalachian Apollo is gonna stomp and strum into your folky hearts.

Folk Rock is a hard one to do right. It can get campy and twee real fast, and often fails to feel genuine. But Appalachian Apollo grabs the genre by its acoustic guitar strings with gusto and sincerity. With big swelling choruses and a personal sensitivity, he's rendered an ambitious album that fits right into the Americana revival scene.

This album is full of energy and emotion. That neo-Indie, quieted folk mixed with big brassy guitar and the massive assemblage of instruments feels familiar and warm. The complexity of the composition is impressive; there's tambourines, banjos, washboard, organs, pianos, maybe even a mandolin? An everything but the kitchen sink mentality that never feels overwhelming or overdone.

The vocals have a lot of range and sentiment, and had me drawing parallels to the Avett Brothers, the Decemberists, and even a bit of Neutral Milk Hotel. All similarly drawing on eclectic instrumentals, reaching to construct some sort of narrative or expression.  

All in all, it's a lovely, genuine listen. I did lose a bit of interest after a while, simply because some of the songs bled together. Nevertheless, these guys are completely cohesive and self-assured. They know exactly what they're about, what they want to say, and have the wherewithal to do it.

4/7

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Sean Maldjian