Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys Shine with Release Your Shrouds

Ashley Winward

Coming from a girl whose musical library is mostly punk and alternative rock, it may come as a shock to some of you that I indeed have a piece of my heart that adores folk and country music.

AP Photo
AP Photo

The guitar melodies are so soothing, the vocals are pure, and the stories just bring a smile to your face. Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are the epitome of all three of these things on their newly released album, Release Your Shrouds.

I wouldn’t even consider Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys to be “Folk” or “Country,” because of all the elements that encompass their sound. While one song, like opening track, “Hats Off,” has that quintessential bluegrass banjo line, the next track, “My Side of the Mountain,” sounds like a hit off the big country stations.

“Tied Down to You,” might be one of my favorite songs on the whole album for its bluesy muted trumpet line and Lou’s delivery of the lyrics that reminds me a lot of Zoe Deschanel in her musical project, She & Him.

“Pass Me the Whiskey,” is a fun tune with a lot of soul and great instrumentation that I appreciate. Their variety, while still being grounded in their earthy roots, is fantastic and I love listening to it!

I think the one song that threw me for a loop was “Querida Tierra,” which translates from Spanish to “Dear Earth.” I would never expect this kind of group to have a song in a different language, especially one with such gorgeous lyrics. When looking at the translation, it’s about being so in love with nature that you want to marry it; the earth, the sun and the sky.

“It’s certain that I adore you,” Lou croons, “your voice, and in truth, everything. I love you too much.” I wish that there was an English translated version, though I don’t know it needs one because it is as beautiful as it is already.

“Wonderful You Are,” has to be the most jazz influenced of the album, with nothing but Lou’s wonderful voice and Spencer Cain on upright bass strumming away in the background. I feel the need to snap every time I listen to it! “Barbarossa” is an instrumental only track that shows off the band as a whole. While the focus may be on Lou for her voice and lyrics, this group is equally matched in great talent from the rest of the band.

“Lemon Squeezy,” is my other favorite track off the album because it is a quirky and cute love song that won’t fail at making you smile. The closing clip, “The Petroff Line,” was an adorable way to end the whole album and leaves me wanting more from them!

With the recent shift in the musical spotlight to more folk inspired groups like Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men, I see a great opportunity for Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys to get the recognition they deserve. Lou has such a beautiful and pure voice that everyone should be envious of, and the rest of the band is so good at what they do, especially with such unique instruments in today’s age of music being so electronic and over processed.

If I were you, I would make your way over to the Outer Space in Hamden (part of The Space) on Nov. 17 to see these guys live. If they have as much energy in person as they do on a recording, you will be in for a treat! Be sure to look out for a Livewell Latest review from Shannon Livewell of their performance in the coming weeks.