ALBUM REVIEW: “THE JOURNEY VOL. 1” by 5j BARROW

“Let me pull you closer to me, as we waltz ‘round the room,” sings 5j Barrow’s Jason Hite, in the opening verse of “Seagreen Dress,” the  first song on their forthcoming EP, The Journey Vol. 1. His beautiful tenor ebbs and flows with the pulsating strums of the accompanying acoustic guitar—and then in an unexpected twist, the song explodes with infectious energy and harmonies expertly-formed with musical partner-in-crime Eryn Murman. As I listened to the remaining four songs on the album, the first in a series of forthcoming EPs, I noticed that each was packed with sonically-stimulating moments of drama. Then, I learned that Murman and Hite have a background on Broadway, and it all made sense.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking show tunes here, so if you are averse to musicals, you needn’t be afraid to dive into what 5j Barrow has to offer (but seriously, if you are averse to musicals, bless your heart). Besides impressive ranges and amazing vocal control, Murman and Hite consistently captivate with dynamic style, all of which make their jangly brand of rollicking folkicana virtually irresistible.

Intense musicianship involving all manner of rootsy stringed instruments—and the occasional electric guitar—abound. Whether they’re singing of love in bloom on “Seagreen Dress,” or calling down fire and brimstone on love gone not-totally-right with the hell-raising “Sarah Brown,” there’s never a dull moment on this album.

[Purchase The Journey Vol. 1, set for release on 10/6: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-journey-vol-1-ep/id1280569926, and get details about their 10/17 release show in NYC here.]

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