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Album Review

The latest project from Geoff Farina (Karate, Secret Stars) finds him abandoning the jazzy art rock of his previous trio for a more stripped-down folk-blues approach. It's fitting, given that one of the reasons cited for Karate's breakup was Farina's long bout with tinnitus, that the instrumentation on Glorytellers' eponymous debut is decidedly quiet and sparse, with only a couple dueling guitar tracks (an acoustic rhythm track beneath a clean electric lead), occasionally harmonized vocals, and hushed drums. The rhythms of these songs, while not as groovy as Gavin McCarthy's work in Karate, do have their own charming off-time shuffle, with Luther Gray III brushing out rolling triplets and bouncy two-steps. But the real focal point here is the vocals, which carry on the more narrative style of the later days of Karate. Farina tells stories of common people using vivid imagery over elegiac yet uplifting melodies, delivered with his trademark careful phrasing and clever wordplay. And no matter how down in the dumps his characters find themselves — whether they be a friend who is consistently on the wrong side of the law ("Pry"), a teen mom raising a child without her family's blessing ("Camouflage"), or misguided families who mistakenly vote for legislation that could take their children from them ("Quarantine") — they somehow amazingly share a positive outlook, and the album is oddly reassuring. This kind of resilience, combined with the warm, intimate intricacies of Farina's fluid and effortless guitar lines, makes Glorytellers a true comfort to listen to.


Formed: 2005 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Glorytellers were formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Geoff Farina after he spent most of 14 years leading the Boston-based band Karate and was part of the duo Secret Stars. The more ballad-oriented Glorytellers also feature drummer Luther Gray III. They released...
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Glorytellers, Glorytellers
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