The folk band Pioneer have recently released their self titled album. PIONEER is a mix of covers like Bob Dylan’s Hard Rain and the Weakerthans’ None of the Above and original songs. From the opening track this album establishes an extremely intimate sound. This intimate sound remains throughout the album primarily due to the quiet lead vocals. Original songs like Yeah highlight the vulnerability found in the lead vocalist’s voice while displaying the band’s solid songwriting skills.
The greatest accomplishment of this record is its ability to strike a seamless balance between new and old sounds, while still creating a unified piece of work. Though all the elements of tradition folk music are present, the use of electronic and other non-traditional sounds adds a new and intriguing layer. Tracks like Diamond Child are unafraid of digital manipulation, using various effects on the lead vocals and play around with larger more spacious sounds. Tracks like Hard Rain assure the listener of the band’s love and respect of traditional folk music. Overall this album is a thoughtful and inventive morsel of music.