While Say Goodbye is no
straightforward salute to Memphis, soul is as good a word as any for this quiet, strange but above all groovy little record.
This new band's sound has roots in the indie-folk scene, with its moody treatments of simple chord progressions and Americana rhythms. But the larger thread here is classic pop, and The Head and the Heart offers the complete feel-good package.
It's fine to eschew traditional bluegrass for intricate pop, but playing the latter with strict string-band instrumentation just sounds kind of gimmicky.
While the most tried-and-true way to say "I'm a serious American roots artist" is to book Emmylou Harris to sing backup, a close second is to get T-Bone Burnett to be your producer.
A special Christmas review of noteworthy books, movies and music.