It's true. After a few years of dedicated effort to keeping up with new album releases from bands both familiar and brand new, I'm now stuck on a four-song rotation, and it's all the fault of one five-piece multinational folk-rock outfit called The Primary.
Back in May, the band released their debut EP - a four-song, all-original offering entitled Beneath the Tide, and if first impressions are the most important (hint: they are) then this is a band to look for in the future. Reminiscent of The Decemberists or Mumford and Sons, but with a unique style that makes their sound their own, the EP is instantly familiar - catchy, without being annoyingly ear-wormish.
Part of the freshness of the sound may be in the band's very composition, with members hailing from both sides of the Atlantic.
Chief songwriter Jon Lennon (yes, really) brings an Irish style to his lead vocals and acoustic guitar work, while lead guitarist Tony Boyd hails from the music-soaked city of Glasgow, Scotland. On bass is Florida native Bob Massicotte, who brings a combination of swampy FLA style and the technical experience of a professional orchestra director.
The remaining members are themselves case studies in multiculturalism. Rounding out the rhythm section is Matteo Cinnani, with roots in Italy and Colombia, currently calling Canada his home and native land. The band's lone female member, Camila Ugarte, also calls Canada home now, but is Chilean by origin. In addition to shouldering the burden of being the band's feminine side, she also lends backup vocals and adds an unmistakable flavour to the band through the strings of her cello.
Based in Cheongju, South Korea, the band has been playing shows to rave reviews for some time, and their schedule is getting busier by the second. Already written up in several well-known ROK publications (including the Korea Herald and the Korea Times), tour dates are booking quick, with gigs scheduled for Seoul, Cheonan, Ochang, Daejon as well as a home-town show or two in Cheongju. In September, the band will grace the main stage at the International Sori Festival in Jeonju.
One can only hope that a few international tour dates crop up some time in the future.
Download the album (it's pay-what-you-want, including an entirely agreeable option of $0 - but let's throw them some cash anyway, shall we?) at their website, www.the-primary.com, and then be sure to keep up with updates on Facebook and Twitter to hear of new releases, videos and (fingers crossed) more tour dates as they're added.
Oh, and for a bit of an intro, watch this video: