By The Echo & Sway Buy on Bandcamp

From the opening minutes of Troubadours – the debut full-length by Pennsylvania indie/folk duo The Echo & Sway – it’s clear this is an album meant for the open road. An orchestral tune up introduces opener “Road Song” with a sense of anticipation and wonder befitting a drive down a lonely stretch of highway, before ushering in a swelling blend of acoustic guitars, two-part harmony vocals and a lyrical nod to a Tom Waits classic… and that’s all in the first verse.

The album flows seamlessly from there, through the upbeat folk of lovers’ ode “Going Solo” to the twang of comeuppance tale “Snake in the Grass” and minor key liar’s lament “I’m No Angel.” The ever present guitars & bass are sparsely accompanied by harmonica, glockenspiel and a vibrant whistle, all just enough to compliment but never overwhelm the lyrics, and the stories they tell.

By the time the album wraps with the call to arms for suicide prevention “Wish,” it feels like you’ve been riding shotgun with the band, searching for the meaning of life in true Kerouacian fashion. They’ve learned hard lessons, celebrated milestones and turned it all into a truly poetic piece of storytelling. Full of adventure, romance, nostalgia & regret, Troubadours answers the call of the open road with a wistful trip through Americana.