"Baltic Cousins sound perfect on an autumn day. They're like an Appalachian version of the Thermals." - Megan Selling, The Stranger
"Every song is a gigantic anthem. It feels fucking crucial as shit. As if life and death depended on every chord, every kick and snare." -Tim Baker, SYFFAL.COM
"self-contained epics, full of colourful characters and thoughtful musings on Pacific Northwestern existence" -Tommy Dski, Pocketjury.net
"Unapologetic, bombastic energy. Balls-out folk." - The Volcano
"At its core, here is a release of honest, earnest, country-fried folk punk" - Whats Up Magazine
"Confrontational, honest, angry and urgent"
-Sound on the Sound
"Ominous, punk-y brand of Americana thats rooted in honesty and realism" -Scene Point Blank
In their short lifespan Baltic Cousins have never fallen victim to the trappings of languid contemporary folk or Americana. Right out the gate they have been raging ahead both musically and in their tireless work ethic. Born from the ashes of Wooden Wings in Bellingham, Washington in 2009, guitarist, singer, and head songwriter Brad Lockhart, an avid Two Gallants and 16 Horsepower fan, linked up with violinist Nika Munn and drummer Shawn Stalberger to forge a different kind of country inflected rock band. With a set of demos and an impressive ep entitled For the Hell of Us under their belt, the band added Rabia Magnusson on piano to both add bulk and to smooth over some of the rougher edges. After an eventful year of recording, a move to Seattle, and the replacement of Stalberger on drums by Kyle Alumbaugh, the band is ready to unleash their debut full length The Broken Horn.
Once the hushed, slow burning first moments of the album give way to the tumult of the soaring and catchy “Never Hold Your Breath,” it becomes instantly clear that the new record finally captures their big hearted sound. But make no mistake; The Broken Horn never suffers from a lack of rawness.
With the pounding drums, to the more textural piano work of Magnusson accompanying Munn’s melodious violin swirls, the bands sound is an unexpected mixture of in-congruent elements. Lockhart’s guitar playing oscillates between melodic finger picking to violent slashes of distortion that both anchor and urgently drive the songs, allowing the band to jump from a haunting and melancholic dirge to a full on snarl within a single tune. Letting his vocals rest front and center, Lockhart is also able to divulge his shadowy stories with a pained wail. His lyrics throughout The Broken Horn detail the spectrum of existence of all those who inhabit the dark corners of our modern American West, and there are equal parts grandeur and heartache to be found in his characters.
It is these essentials that separate the band from so much of their contemporary ilk. While employing elements of Americana and twang, Baltic Cousins also rely heavily on their shared back grounds in hardcore and punk to conjure something darker on their new record. The Broken Horn is gut punch folk music that is exuberant and lyrically affecting, delivered with the same amount of recklessness and passion that the band consistently exhibits at their shows. Baltic Cousins are more important than ever to our current musical landscape because they don’t give in to modern American ennui; they furiously rage against it.
released March 1, 2013
Baltic Cousins "The Broken Horn" featuring:
Brad Lockhart: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Banjo
Tannananika Munn: Violin, Cello, Accordian
Rabia Magnusson: Piano, Organ, Melodica
Shawn Stalberger: Drums
With additional percussion by Jackson Long
Engineered, produced and mixed by Jackson Long at
Hear Me Shimmer in Seattle, Washington
Mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago, Illinois
Music and lyrics by Brad Lockhart © baltic cousins music (ASCAP)
Band photography by Paul Israel
Cover photo by Tannananika Munn
Design and layout by Brad Lockhart, www.bradlockhartdesign.com
Special thank you to our families, Nick Dillion and Jeff Johnson