Galen Fitzpatrick (guitar, vocals), Desiree Haney (cello, keys, vocals), Ryann Lynch (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), and Megan Manning (drums, percussion, vocals), make up the foot-stomping roots, folk, Americana group known as, Black Horse Motel (BHM).
Their unique, rhythm-driven sound is the inevitable result of a melting-pot of influences including folk, bluegrass, classic rock, grunge, trip hop, punk, and more. Look, if you as an artist are seriously—and simultaneously—influenced by bluegrass and trip-hop…well…I’m in.
Previous work includes 2012’s self-titled EP, as well as their full length debut, 2013’s Red Summer Spirit. However, we have gathered here for another reason altogether: 2017’s Parable, a sick, rhythmic collection of songs that will grab—and hold—your attention.
“What makes a home? What makes family? How long do you stand by someone to your own detriment? How do you find the strength to pull yourself up by your bootstraps?”
—Megan Manning, Black Horse Motel
Here’s what we dug most…
Our Favorite Track:
Run, Rabbit, Run…oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. I don’t really know where to begin here. At first pass, this song froze me in my seat. I needed to hear everything, everything. At its core, the track is an anxiety-filled, millennial anthem dedicated to breaking free from your inheritance—your domestication—and setting out on your own, at your own pace, frenetic, frantic, and freaking. The drums, the fiddle, the vocals—the whole thing is wild and primal…
“Grampa was a farmer
and my father was a farmer like his pa’
Raised me to be a farmer
but I guess that I goes after my ma’
Goin’ down the highway
gonna see what my mamma saw
Goin’ down the highway
gonna see what my mamma saw”
Like throwing your tranny into reverse at 60 mph, Bones offers a gentle depth as it weaves a story of parental abuse, and the aftermath that can’t possibly ever go completely away. It’s lovely, and, two songs in, I’m in love with BHM.
At just over 2 &1/2 minutes, Where The Money Comes From, is short, rebellious romp. Raw lyrics, a simple, soul-inspired guitar hook, fiddle, and drum-clap slam into what I’m quickly learning is a quintessential 4-part BHM harmony to create something truly unique, and absolutely captivating. (I dare you to try and sit still.)
“I’m goin to the liquor store and bringin’ my gun
Take that register, make my run
I don’t care where the money comes from…”
Despite the fact that it’s only a 5-track EP, Parable, is nothing short of brave and adventurous. As one song would end, I found myself eagerly anticipating the next ride with childlike wonder. (You might think this happens often as a music critic—nope.) The EP richly—and intelligently—shows-off this talented quartet’s creative and imaginative range of styles and moods. From roots to rock, ballads to anthems, BHM really has something here, and we at The Ark of Music don’t mind gushing-on about it. We plan on enjoying Parable while eagerly anticipating their next project.
Buffalo Gospel makes a record with Little Red Wolf…
BELOW, you can listen to Black Horse Motel’s album, Parable, and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Black Horse Motel by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!