Southerly - Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist

Craig Broad 02/05/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Southerly is the moniker under which Krist Kreuger places his soul. After starting the project in 2001, it took until 2006 for Krueger to gain a full live band that he was happy with and the fruits of his labour, Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist weren't sewn until a year later in May 2007.

But is Southerly worth the wait and is this release still relevant in 2009?

Luckily, yes. Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist was more than worth the wait and with the song craft openly available here, another ten years could pass and it would still be worth your time to listen to Southerly (although hopefully they will have released another album by then!). Sounding like the in-between of Bright Eyes and M Ward, Southerly write what feels like an emotional crossing of country and folk without the sort of vocal depravity that we have come to notice from artists in said genre and instead of sticking to the baritone nature of the likes of M Ward, Kreuger uses his vocals harmonies to drive the songs causing an uplifting, sing-a-long experience. Add this to the organic feel of every song (you won't find samples here) and you, like myself, will be wondering why Southerly aren't up there with the likes of Bright Eyes especially when stand-out song Cold Caller blows anything Conor Oberst has put his hand to out of the water without even a warning sign.

While Southerly haven't maybe received the same attentions of bands of their ilk, that doesn't mean it isn't deserved and in 2009, two years after its original release date, fans of Conor Oberst would quickly retread their obsessions to Southerly after picking up Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist.