You Me and Apollo are a band after my own heart. Their sound partakes somewhat of the kind of genreless eclecticism that contemporary music can’t seem to avoid, yet they still manage to have a distinct sound that is tied deeply to its roots of Americana, Honky Tonk, folk and soul. They borrow much from the sounds of contemporary rock bands like Alabama Shakes and The Black Keys, especially in the vocal style of lead singer Brent Cowles whose soulful croon simply nails the Indie Twang archetype—but their soul goes deep into the golden age of American folk rock. There are distinct resonances of artists like Creedence, Evie Sands, The Zombies and The Band.
While their five piece set up, including three guitars, bass and drums, results in a very large and expansive sound they do not fall into trap of always thinking that more is better. You Me and Apollo are sophisticated enough to know when to fire on all cylinders and when to relax and let the music breathe and invite the listener in. As self-evident as that sounds, the ability to know which notes to not play is a very subtle art and one that is sorely lacking in most popular music these days. Here is where I would normally digress to tell you all about the loudness wars and how Phil Spector killed not only that poor girl, but modern popular music as well. But I’ll leave that for another date.
Dynamics is not the only thing they get right. Their songs, while sharing a common “sound” span a wide variety of styles—from uptempo rockers to slower, soulful ballads. They hit every point along the tempo map, switching easily and smoothly between shuffles, straight ahead beats and swing—drummer Tyler Kellog marshalling the rhythms with aplomb while bassist Dave Cole walks up and down his fretboard. Lead guitarist Morgan Travis’s sound alternates between simulated steel guitar and twangy leads. Cowles and rhythm guitarist Johnatan Alonzo fill in the sound with subtle textures and flavors.
Their set on Friday span the gamut of their sonic landscape with the uptempo rock-y songs like “Oh My Molly” skillfully interspersed with the slower, more soulful numbers like “Rob The Cheat” and “Someday” They also offered up covers of The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” and Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” both of which suited their eclectic style nicely.
You Me and Apollo’s current tour wrapped up this weekend. But keep your eyes peeled for any tour dates in or around St. Louis. They are an act you do not want to miss. You can find them online at www.youmeandapollo.com