Son Volt’s tenth album, Electro Melodier, will be available on July 30. The first two singles “Reverie” and “Diamonds and Cigarettes” are out now. The title ‘Electro Melodier’ is taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, also describes the album’s unique blend of folk, country, blues, soul and rock – an electric troubadour with melodies that hit and stick. Social protest songs like “Livin’ in the U.S.A.” and “The Globe,” the former about the promises of this nation gone wrong, the latter referencing the street protests accompanying the Black Lives Matter movement, exist side by side with odes to long-term relationships (specifically his 25-year marriage) in “Diamonds and Cigarettes” and “Lucky Ones.”
Once again accompanied by the current Son Volt line up – keyboardist/steel guitarist Mark Spencer, bassist Andrew Duplantis, guitarist Chris Frame and drummer Mark Patterson – Farrar takes a slight turn from 2019’s politically pointed Union to a series of songs that asks questions rather than demanding answers – think of “Livin’ in the U.S.A.” as Farrar’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” or Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power,” an anthem to unite the populace.