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In December 2010, Balto came together for the first time to record an album called October’s Road – a cycle of folk songs that told the story of a young man’s self-imposed Siberian exile. The record is a document of a place in time – 6 friends sitting in a circle, holding acoustic instruments, breathing life into images of endless rail-lines, broken concrete cities, and the lives of two people caught between them.
Just a year and a half later, the band has built a dedicated international following, toured in the US and Canada, been featured by somewhere between 80 and 100 blogs, moved coasts, and recorded a new release. Balto is pleased to announce its newest record: Monuments (EP)
From a sound built of men hitting wooden boxes really hard, Balto expands outward – the familiar interplay of Acoustic guitars and mandolins and banjo is cradled by robust, creative drumming, unexpectedly primal upright bass, pianos and organs and 12-strings and marching drums. Spaghetti western guitar twang. Baritone voices in harmony.
For Monuments, songwriter Daniel Sheron went deeper into the nuances of lyricism and movement. These are songs of introspection, somewhat removed from the gritty realism and desperation that characterized the last record, and placed in a land of Technicolor – boats bobbing in a bottle-green sea, fire up on the dusty red shoreline, and a young man with one foot on the bow, sailing out, sailing back, self-immolating on the endless road between the existant and the ideal.