Folk-rock band Westfall doesn’t approach their chosen genre in the way you might expect. Rather than focusing on the hyper-harmonization homogeny of radio-friendly acts like The Lumineers or Mumford and Sons, they ground their sound in raw emotion and subversive arrangements. There’s a yearning in their work for the sounds of the past, but the band also keeps one ear firmly focused on the present, creating a broad musical atmosphere in which to vent and adapt their countless influences.
Revolving around the combined creativities of singer-guitarist Kelsi Westfall, drummer Tony Powell, bassist Andrew Meador, guitarist-cellist Conrad Hyde and guitarist Ethen Martin, the band constructs a sound that incorporates a handful of different aesthetics without sacrificing the individuality of any one genre. Their work is rooted the rurality of modern Americana while also drawing earnest inspiration from indie rock’s more bucolic nature and the shuffled movements of classic country.
Recently, the band shared a new single called “Nicotine,” and it’s a gorgeous track filled with mournful strings, Westfall’s fiercely persuasive voice and vivid folk-rock arrangements, which are all assembled around a chugging blues framework that feels emotionally resonant as it effortlessly sends chills down your spine. There’s something mysterious here, as if the band has found a way to tap into decades of musical history without losing their own collective distinctiveness.
With such a dynamic and compelling rhythmic perspective, it shouldn’t take long before Westfall finds themselves growing their already considerable fanbase at an exponential rate. And while the bare elements of their music may sound familiar, they’re collected in a way as to make the music feel utterly unique while simultaneously steeping it in an earnest reverence toward their influences. Built upon equal parts adaptation and veneration, their sound is captivating and streaked with an intense fierceness and demands your complete attention.