by Josh Gross
Growing up steeped in the rich, fiery tradition of rock music about broken bottles and broken homes, I wanted to hate Boise indie-folk band Grand Falconer.
Its harmonized oohs and aahhs are wrapped into well-constructed pop songs so warm and comforting, they might as well be Hallmark cards. And the looks of sweet elation its members have on their faces as they bang out tunes seem to bear no underpinnings of malice. The songs issue no calls for cultural or political action, and have no need for gale-force vocal catharsis.
Like I said: I wanted to hate them. But watching them play the Venue on Feb. 24, it quickly became clear that was an impossibility. The songs are too well constructed; the parts too perfectly spaced; the harmonies too possessive of that feeling that they are coming from inside your chest, instead of from a sound system. The drums too perfectly walk the line between delicate accents, rolling crescendos and beats that thump like a pulse. Then toss a cello on top like a cherry on a banana split and this rocker is mush. Especially during the band's big finish with the song "Midwest." It was practically a short film in sound, and the band knew how to work it onstage.
Indie-folk is hardly a ground-breaking genre, and Grand Falconer is doing little to redefine it. But good pop music will always find a place, and Grand Falconer is making dang good pop music.
You can hear said dang good pop music on the opening day of Treefort Music Fest, Thursday, Mar. 22, at The Linen Building at 7 p.m.