Lion Cub - Seneca
Record Label: Topshelf Records
Release Date: June 29, 2010
If I had to describe Lion Cub in five words, they would be: catchy indie pop electronic folk. And that seems like a very odd combination of styles, but they make it work. With combinations of keyboards, loops, xylophones, as well as the standard guitar, bass, drums, and a lot of melodies, Seneca comes together to be an incredibly catchy solid piece of music. This is a record made for a summer day on a porch, or a long country drive, and its likely you’ll be singing along by the second time you listen to it, or trying to remember the lyrics after you have the melody stuck in your head the next day.
The album starts off with a more experimental song, focused more on electronics, but still incorporating some of the catchiness the album will bring out later. The second song “Southern Salt Baptist” is one of the faster tracks, and one of the one’s you will mostly likely have stuck in your head for the next few days. Lead vocalist Chad Jewett is not an incredible singer, but his voice really grew on me throughout the album and he fits in perfectly with this folksy style of music. Another vocalist accompanies him, which really creates a lot of vocal variety. The lyrics here are written very well, dealing with growing old, falling in love, religious themes, and very detailed stories. The album ends with the title track, and the very haunting lines “If the devil tries to tempt me, I’ll tell him I don’t believe in hell/So you can bury your hatchet at the bottom of a well”, performed acapella.
The eleven tracks are all built around guitar and piano, with a lot of additional instrumentation to give each song a different atmosphere. All of the musicians are very capable on their instruments, and come together well to create some very catchy music. The xylophone is a key addition to a lot of these songs, and my favorite use of instrumentation. Combinations of folk, power pop, and indie music are present throughout and in different amounts, with a wide range of songs going from organ led pieces to songs built around a catchy guitar riff. Seneca is a varied work, but also very strongly built on one sound, and Lion Cub have created a piece that is both progressive and experimental, without losing its pop sensibility.