New York alt-folk act Mail the Horse have had a lot of songs released already with only one LP, Planet Gates. For a large band which is such a live oriented one, this is less surprising than the fact they vary so much from clean and sweet numbers, “Oh, Jamie”, “In Our Time” or “Dorothy” to the folky Magnolia EP, and now, on the new self titled release, chalk full of rock ‘n’ roll.
Mail the Horse begins with the solid “Gimme Gimme”, but expands to the trippier single, “Sweet Red Lies” (QRO review), and more exotic numbers like “Kid Gloves”, “Spinning Wheel”, or “Purple Yellow Shade”. “Kid Gloves” may be the best song here, but not to be outdone is soft but boldly spoken closer, “P-Town”, or who does not love a line like, “I hear you’re writing a book about you saviour.” from “Convenient Fool”?
“Workhorse” literally gets back to the folky grind, and there is a touching element to “Pitch and Haw”. Maybe the final track “P-Town” does say it best, “Money and fame doesn’t come that easily / It’s just a poison town”.
With a large Americana band it is impossible to know how well they will engage audiences rather than play on their blues feel, and somewhat surprisingly, self-titled Mail The Horse unquestionably delivers a fun and also personal feeling.