Medicine for the Soul is the sophomore release from U.K.-based roots-rockers, Vagaband. The album is being released on their own Eggsong Recordings label. The self-produced title is the follow-up to their much praised debut Town & Country and will be released on CD, gate-fold vinyl and digital download.
The Norfolk-based 8-piece are at the forefront of England’s vibrant roots scene and in 2013 made The Alternate Root’s “Top 20 New Roots Bands of Europe” list. Performing on a rich and exotic array of instruments including flugelhorn, mandolin, marxophone, clarinet and pedal steel, the members of Vagaband infuse their unique and distinctive sound with elements of folk, vaudeville, Victoriana and filmic instrumentals drawing press comparison to a diverse range of inspirations, everyone from — from Calexico, Beck and Beatles to early 70’s Pink Floyd.
In “The Whistling Song” the band announces: “There’s a time to dance, a time to die;’ this central theme underpins the album throughout. Both celebratory and reflective, the initial optimism gradually gives way to darker tales inhabited by drunks, dead-end seaside towns and troubled souls. The centre piece of the album is title track,”Medicine For The Soul,” an ode to late Texan songwriter Townes Van Zandt with cinematic arrangements reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother,” or Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’. A quirky addition to the album is “Gabrielle,” a song from the canny of 90’s Alt Rock anti-heroes Ween; this unique take on the song gives some sense of Vagaband’s energy-charged live sound. The album closes on an ultimately sober, contemplative note with “Cisco Wine” and “A Different Drum.”