Posted on October 19th, 2012 (12:30 pm) by Mark Schiffer

Indie folk has become a movement unto itself, one which attracts just as many detractors as it does followers. However, the beneficial side of this movement is the sheer amount of creators it has spawned. For music of the people to become something almost anyone could create - that was the goal of the early '60s folk music boon anyway, wasn't it? This isn't to say the many musicians who made their name making folk music in the 1960s lacked talent. Rather, they possessed the ability to convey their emotions and ideas regarding humanity in a manner that felt incredibly close-to-the-surface and true. This was truly what made folk music something to be considered the music of the people – it was a movement that was based in the connectibility of its members, which consequently made the possibility of creating more of what they were quite inviting indeed.

This brings us to the both to main positive characteristic of Sera Cahoone, and, eventually, the negative. Carissa's Wierd and Band of Horses alumnus Sera Cahoone certainly isn't “almost anyone,” and her music has a certain labored-over quality self-distinguishing from "truly authentic” folk music. The sounds she presents on Deer Creek Canyon are so warm and inviting, and they make their genre boundaries seem like something quite far from what they really are. Although at no point does she truly exceed the confines of the world of folk music, she manages to soar within them. Released September 25th on Sub Pop, Deer Creek Canyon is a somewhat thematically empty, but musically gorgeous piece of folk music.

What distinguishes this album from other creations from the so-called “neo-folk” movement is the strength of Cahoone's decision-making in terms of composition. Songs are adorned with lap-steel guitars, banjos, and strings to powerful ends. The lap-steel in particular is used in such a gorgeous fashion that it feels like an orchestra unto itself on opener “Worry All Your Life” and the devastating mid-album highlight “And Still We Move.” Meanwhile, the perky “Nervous Wreck” is driven by affable hand-claps and banjo.

Unfortunately, we must mention those who aren't already invested in the world of folk/neo-folk will have little to connect with here. As strong as the compositions are on Deer Creek Canyon, it is more than a little bit difficult to tell what exactly Sera Cahoone has to express. The sturdiness of the album's design has the unfortunate effect of obscuring any individuality it may have, and for some this may prove problematic. However, those who are already predisposed to enjoy sounds along these lines will undoubtedly find much to enjoy on this album.

Track List:
1. Worry All Your Life
2. Deer Creek Canyon
3. Naked
4. Nervous Wreck
5. And Still We Move
6. Every Little Word
7. One to Blame
8. Rumpshaker
9. Shakin’ Hands
10. Anyway You Like
11. Here With Me
12. Oh My

Sera Cahoone: Deer Creek Canyon
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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