Tom Levin’s work has usually been associated with quintessential Americana and ‘Them Buffalo’ is no exception. Levin incorporates a number of different genres such as blues, indie, hip hop and bluegrass into this album, giving it a unique edge.
‘Them Buffalo’ was released in late November of 2014 and has been steadily gaining popularity in alternative music circles. Rave reviews from the likes of The Vinyl District have commented on the album citing it as ‘Swedish singer-songwriter Tom Levin’s Them Buffalo is work full of substance and grit.
A kind of anti-venom for whitewashed indie music that is often touted as “authentic”’. But authentic is the best way to describe ‘Them buffalo’, another accolade Levin can boast is that the Rock and Roll Report have cited ‘Them Buffalo’ as one of the best albums of the year. Levin manages to tell captivating stories coupled with soothing instrumentals which makes each track on ‘Them Buffalo’ stand out in its own unique way.
‘Thunder On’ opens the album; the song has a catchy chorus Levin’s powerful husky voice help make this a great choice of song for the albums opening. ‘Everyday’ is a charming song from Levin; it follows this narrative of his young son’s crayon scribbles on the wall in their house. Levin’s attempts to decipher the scribbles as drawings of rivers and streams are shot down by his toddler son who says it is in fact a picture of a bumblebee. The charismatic words from Levin coupled with the high energy catchy instrumental lend the song a feel good atmosphere.
Good Vibes Music describes Tom’s sound as ‘…(Levin’s vocals) is gruff, and he tells it like it is through accounts of love, bison, bearded men, and varying personalities. What results is a hauntingly beautiful, honest account of life’.
‘More Than a Song’ is the longest track on the album, but again, like ‘Everyday’ this song is exceptionally charming. Levin demonstrates his skills as a musician/songwriter wonderfully in this track. At the tracks base, it is a love song, but Levin avoids corny clichés like other folk love songs.
‘Mind’s Eye’ sounds familiar, but again ultimately unique with Modern Mystery Blog describing ‘Mind’s Eye’ as an instant favorite. ‘History, Beliefs and Bearded Men’ lets down this album slightly; its repetitive lyrics soon become grating and draw focus away from the meaning of the song.
‘Schizo’ is a deeply personal song from Levin; it talks about his struggle with his identity and relationships. The chorus repeats ‘Me, me, me, me, me’ which might allude to Levin’s satisfaction in self indulgence. ‘Margaret’s House’ features a duet with Aimee Bobruk another whimsical folk musician. Aimee’s breathy voice compliments Levin’s deep tones producing a unique sounding duet. This track closes the album, leaving on a high note it is a fantastic choice of closing song.
Tom Levin is a unique musician with an authentic sound, his gruff voice and enchanting instrumentals make for a compelling album. ‘Them Buffalo’ uses American mysticism and folklores to create an album of short stories with a country and western feel.