The first bows of the violin ring in loud and clear on “Death”, the first track of Tales of Olde’s EP titled Txo, and I am immediately transported to a rustic country barn. There are fairy lights in the rafters and hay sprinkled on the ground. People drink cider out of mason jars and wear blue jeans with plaid shirts. “Death,” and in fact the album as a whole, feels like it should be played at a folky barn dance.

Although the opening track gives me very clear visual imagery, the rest of the album is subtler in its barn dance vibes. The classic rock ‘n’ roll instruments – guitar, bass, and drums – remain the focus of Tales of Olde’s sound. But hints of fiddle still weave their way in. The sounds of each instrument are layered on top of each other perfectly so that no one overpowers another – nothing sticks out when it shouldn’t.

Ghost In My Head” stands out from the other four songs on the EP. The track begins with a scratchy bass-less sound that makes you nostalgic for listening to old tunes on a portable radio in the garage. Singer Lucas Cortazio’s usual soft voice gives way to a gruff tenor full of aching emotion. It is wonderfully unexpected when the drum fills and guitar riffs are finally added; judging from the first section of the song, I presumed the shallow sound of the guitar and vocal pairing from the intro would last the whole song. The whistling melody creates a relaxing break mid-song before the guitar and drums come back in and the song picks up again.

With only one EP under their belt, Tales of Olde still has room to grow into their own, unique folk-rock sound and avoid being characterized as “another folk act from Boston”. But with a combination of sounds that borrow from bluegrass, folk, blues, and classic rock, Txo feels like a classic Americana EP– and not in a Lana Del Rey kind of way. It feels homey – and not in a grandmother’s living room kind of way. I can’t tell whether I want to laugh or cry while listening to this album, but that makes it even better.

Album Review: Tales of Olde - Txo
  • Fun mix of genres
  • Great male/female harmonies and duets
  • Maintains consistency even with a range of sounds
  • Lyrics aren't outstanding
  • Doesn't stand out too much from other folk rock acts
7.7Overall Score

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