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Southwest Shadow


Avoid the rain with a buddy in ‘Fairweather Friend’

Their second album since 2021
The Umbrellas release a moving, coming-of-age album.Rating: APhoto Credit: The Umbrellas
The Umbrellas release a moving, coming-of-age album.
Rating: A
Photo Credit: The Umbrellas

Out in the sun and inside live music venues, there is a quartet that comes together to exude happiness through their instruments. Nick Oka and Keith Frerichs build a groovy beat while Matt Ferrara and Morgan Stanley create notes and lyrics that inspire emotion. The result: a new music sensation called “The Umbrellas.” 

Upon listening to the first few seconds of the album, I began to dread the remaining 33 minutes of the album. There was a regular high school, punk, garage-based band aura surrounding almost every aspect of the band. As time passed, however, I began to fall in love with every hit of the drum and strum of the guitar.

“Three Cheers!” sounds like an energy drink in a 12-year-old’s body. It is a fun and lively song, full of random lyrics. It was difficult at first to understand the meaning of the song, because the words “guillotine” and “Hip hip hooray!” threw me off. The celebratory words can be seen as satire, while the artists describe how society can significantly harm people. In terms of musicality, the bass created an exciting beat, much like “Say What You Mean” and “Toe the Line” do. These songs are harsh and rough to listen to, but still sound lively. The Umbrellas do a phenomenal job at using their instruments, slowing down the tempo, and spontaneously sprinkling musical elements to control the feelings of their audience. 

A farewell song, “Goodbye,” is a satisfying listen. This song reminded me of a carefree teenager driving away from their hometown. Just like other songs, such as “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners, The Umbrellas use filler words, or vocalizations, like “da-da-da” to create a youthful environment with their music. 

I have a deep love for the simple strum of a guitar. With 31 seconds of just guitar, “Blue” brought peace. Contrary to songs like “Toe the Line” and “Echoes,” this song was calming and the musicality fit my preferences exactly. The lyrics are remorseful, “I woke up without a friend” and “starting over a new life” give the impression that this song is about conforming to adulthood, given the uncomfortableness of it all. The ending of the song is perfect. It began to fade out and then retaliated with another “Ah, ah” that was in the chorus. 

Overall, the spunky and sentimental demeanor of the album adds a nice compliment to any playlist. 

The folk band delivered all the emotions I wanted to hear and used the vocal/instrumental duo concept creatively. Although I didn’t love the abruptness of certain songs, I still had a pleasant time with these songs playing through my headphones.

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