Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, I quickly learned to hold the idea of community loosely. Throughout my childhood, there was never a sense of certainty; friendships were as lasting as puddles in May. But that perception recently shattered when I discovered the seven members who make up the band, The Mowgli’s. Within seconds of listening to the first track on, Sound the Drum, I immediately felt like I became a part of something much, much bigger.
“Hi Hey There Hello,” is an appropriate and inviting way to open a record. Katie Jane Earl’s vocals are sweet and pleasant, reminding me briefly of quirky New Girl, Zooey Deschanel. Yet, this song is not Katie’s alone to sing, for she is joined by one of the other three singers in the band. And while I’d love to tell you specifically who it is (it could be Michael Vincze, Colin Dieden, or Joshua Hogan), for the moment, let’s appreciate that the individual characteristics of each singer come together to create a united voice, strengthening the overall experience of the track. Unlike most bands, who tend to center its focus on a singular vocalist, The Mowgli’s embrace the communal, allowing for the listener to instantly join in without any reservations; one almost feels like they’re simultaneously part of the band and an audience member.
In subsequent tracks, The Mowgli’s musical community is expansive and everlasting. There’s a vivacity that brims from each note, reminding me of the energy found on the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack. Even when the tempo slows as in, “Carry Your Will,” that vigor never rests.
With catchy chords, it’s easy to get lost and forget about the words. Luckily, I stopped myself from running through imaginary meadows and found, “Time.” It came to me like a soft summer breeze, and I felt absolutely relieved from the heat of living. While the lyrics are written from the first person perspective, the emotions explore a wish that seems inevitably universal: “I get so down about this world sometimes. I cannot understand people, no. Not at all. But I hope to see a hope a change in man. I hope to see us love one another and I know, we can.”
For those of you who are waiting to experience the warm sound of the San Fernando Valley, Sound the Drum debuts today! Be sure to catch the sunshine with The Mowgli’s at their album release show at the Roxy, May 8th.