Album Review: Busman's Holiday – A Long Goodbye

By: Carl Simmons

This is the album that you don’t want to miss this summer.  Bloomington, Ind. brothers Lewis and Addison Rogers of Busman’s Holiday have released their first full-length LP, A Long Goodbye on Indy’s very own Joyful Noise Records and are currently on tour with Kishi Bashi.

The instrumentation in the album is tremendously fun.  From bright and vibrant stringed instruments to soft and humming recorder melodies, Busman’s Holiday commands excellent instrumentation to make a strong and cohesive final product that can be listened to over and over again.

“Child Actor”, for example, has a very delightful recorder melody towards the end of the track.  Jamie Thompson of The Unicorns and Islands is listed in the album credits, and the influence from The Unicorns and Islands is very apparent in “Child Actor”.

“Death” seems to take a lot of influence from Grizzly Bear, as heard in the bright and resonating guitar melodies.  Despite a grim subject, the instrumentation more than makes up for it as bright stringed melodies flutter throughout the song.

“Alone” begins on a more solemn note with bright guitar melodies and introspective strings.  But right at 1:49 the song grows quiet before a mariachi-influenced rhythm and descending violin melodies add substance and drama to the music.  If one likes to define their lives through music, “Alone” does it quite well.

“World” is one of the more subdued and relaxed songs in the album.  A simple rhythm is complemented by a piano harmony as the Rogers brothers command the melody via vocals.  The percussion drops out momentarily before kicking back in and taking control of the song.  The end result is one of the better alternative rock melodies written this year.

“We Are We” is a beautiful song.  Bright acoustic guitar is soon followed by more harmonious stringed instruments.  The descending vocal melodies are immensely catchy.  The chorus in this song is possibly one of the happiest moments in the entire album.

A Long Goodbye is stunningly articulate and profound in that it captures the very essence of what makes summer so wonderful.  Produced by Mark Lawson of Arcade Fire and Islands, and mixed by Drew Vandenberg of Animal Collective and Kishi Bashi, the Rogers brothers from Bloomington have established immeasurable connections with major players in the alternative music scene.

Listen/purchase: Child Actor by Busman’s Holiday