Langhorne Slim (Sean Scolnick) has had a very eventful career, but luckily his talent was able to see him through even the toughest of moments — most notably seeing his record label V2 fold and his debut album fail to be released. But all was not lost for the Langhorne, Pennsylvania now turned Brooklyn, New York folk singer as his band’s self-titled album has finally been released.
The War Eagles are made up of Paul Defiglia on bass and Malachi DeLorenzo on drums and the two definitely add to Langhorne’s mix of traditional, yet untraditional folk sensibilities. That might sound like a contradiction, which in fact, it is. The trio’s song list choice runs at an almost staccato-like fashion, juxtaposing modern up-tempo folk songs with more stripped down traditional tunes.
The LP begins with two lighthearted tracks “Spinning Compass” and “Rebel Side Of Heaven,” the latter of which preaches a less saintly, but less devilish style of living. The emotionally charged, yet physically restrained “Restless” follows, and the ballad-like “Sometimes” follows that with the kind of lyrics written for an impromptu midnight serenade by a would-be lover to his high school crush (“A friend of mine claimed you were out of my league / It was clear to me it was you I was meant to be loving”). Langhorne obviously has more class and grace to pull it off successfully.
He once commented (press release) about his lyricisms that he was “not sure that there’s any other kind, but the songs [he] writes are love songs.” He means the non-romantic form of love, the “kind of therapy, self-help for the flowers and the shit along the road of life” that truly makes up the world, at least the real one.
In thirteen brief — sometimes very brief — seemingly randomized songs, Langhorne and the rest of the boys succeed in depicting life’s subtleties that many of us take for granted. The band’s LP can be perfectly summed up in “Worries” and its carefree attitude of the world: “And maybe I’m dumb for making you smile / I don’t know, but I will in a while / We passed a graveyard and held our breath / We better kiss if we’re getting closer to death.”