Seryn – This is Where We Are

Seryn – This is Where We Are

There’s been a subtle lift-off for folk music in the past few years and although it’s been something that has been well chronicled, there is much to say about music that is able to sound genuine and earnest without being forced. Artists like The Tallest Man on Earth, Fleet Foxes and others have taken to the use of banjos, ukuleles and accordions and meshed it with poignant words to create something much more than just simple folk music. No, instead bands have added layers and walls to their arsenal in making something overcoming and still, quaintly folk-inspired. For Denton-based band Seryn, everything is just beginning but with their debut, This is Where We Are, the sounds look promising.

With that rise of music, which has mostly stemmed from the Pacific Northwest, Seryn’s music comes from the Dallas area where they have already garnered many honors from the local press. Known for selling out shows and for creating the kind of massive vocal layers that many have called memorable, Seryn tailor to their sound with a swift amount of skill and craft. Songs like “We Will All Be Changed” swirl with an almost choir-like progression of voices that all come undone in front of the clamoring sound of pounding drums and elevated guitars. And so while the folk is definitely a prevalent aspect in their music – as noticed on the latter’s ending with a Fleet Foxes-like a cappella ending – it’s never the only constant but rather, one of the many facets of the music.

The album’s ten songs all leave an impact on the listener with each one maintaining a strong focus on bridging the instruments and voices together. On “On My Knees,” the band dresses a simple banjo/guitar melody with a soaring violin part and a string-laden harmony that beguiles the pensive tension inside the song’s chambers. And earlier, on “Of Ded Moroz” (Ded Moroz being the Russian version of Santa Claus) the band sings about the changing of seasons and of father frost with a flourishing amount of strings and acoustic guitar. Often, you find yourself surprised that this is just their first album – as cliché as that may sound. It’s these kinds of special touches where the music fits with the words in a hand-in-hand manner that makes Seryn’s music that much more appealing.

The strongest part of This is Where We Are would probably be heavily debatable: there’s the cunning instruments and how each member is allowed to be equally important and more so, equally necessary, the majestic harmonies and how they simply transform songs into something glorious or possibly, the musicianship behind each song. On “Our Love” the band beckons to the support of eerie pedal tones as they sing in unison around a terrific melody before the banjo takes over to lead the music into a whole other level. When reaching around the spectrum of folk music the results can seem futile and redundant but Seryn have made a great album that is filled with anything but redundancy; the kind of debut that is definitely – to borrow from my earlier point – full of promise.

Velvet Blue Music / Spune