Have you ever experienced the feeling of walking along with headphones on, the music providing a soundtrack to your own personal biopic? If not, you will after hearing the so-called “modern folk” sound of Nashville band Neulore, formed by Adam Agin and William T. Cook.
Since 2009, the duo has offered a fresh spin on the folk genre with their unique take on songwriting. Neulore’s media kit explains how these artists’ fondness of film has influenced their songwriting process and thus shaped the undeniably cinematic quality of their music. According to Agin, “We’re huge fans of movies, so it’s natural for us to dream up some sort of visual scene and then figure out how that scene would sound.”
This past September, Neulore released its major-label debut, Animal Evolve (Chop Shop/Island Records). Cook and Aign call it “the soundtrack for an epic action movie that doesn’t exist.” The album’s anthemic, radio-ready lead single, “Shadow of a Man,” articulates this intent perfectly with its tribal drums and echoing crowd vocals.
Agin’s rich tone and earnest inflections pull at your heartstrings as he illustrates the story of a man who has spiraled into self-destruction. But Neulore’s dramatic flair transcends its music: The band’s clothing and instruments, as well as Agin’s right cheek, are typically decked out with three parallel stripes that resemble native war paint.
Evolve certainly doesn’t resonate as a folk effort, with its alt-rock rythms (“Native Skin”), synths (“Bloodstained Sonnet”), and bluesy guitars (“In the Orchard”). In an interview with No Depression, Cook explained that the folk element exists in the band’s filmic approach to songwriting and the imaginary worlds they dream up.
“Traditional folk music helps us connect with people we’ll never meet and understand them. It’s a sort of conversation through time,” said Cook.
With a name that fuses the German prefix for “new” and the latter half of “folklore,” it’s no wonder this band offers an alternative to the rootsy Americana that many of today’s Nashville folk acts produce. So let Neulore’s neo-folk add a cinematic punch to your daily routine, carrying you from one scene to the next.