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Stereo Embers’ TRACK OF THE DAY: Frontier Ruckus’ “I’m Not The Boy”

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Our Track of the Day today comes directly from the upper Midwest, courtesy of the Michigan folk trio Frontier Ruckus.

Taken from the band’s first new album since 2017’s Enter The Kingdom, “I’m Not The Boy” is a wistful number that surveys romantic devastation and longing with weary wisdom. Falling somewhere between the sentiments of The Beach Boys’ “Girl Don’t Tell Me” and R.E.M.’s “Country Feedback,” “I’m Not The Boy” jangles away with musical finesse and subtle groove, making it one of the slyest and catchiest songs of this young year.

Singer Matthew Milia is at his lyrical best, rolling out rhythmic couplets like, “The lustful impending electrical ending/That’s calmly intending to destroy,” and the band has frankly never sounded better, rolling alongside him with effortless musical grace.

Of the track, Milia tells SEM it’s, “…a really raw encapsulation of the band’s identity: long songs that course circuitously through strange chapters. Melodies and moods seemingly at odds with each other, representing a mercurial journey through the Midwestern psyche. This song somehow contains both the darkest and most ebullient moments on the record. It kind of crackles with that neurotic, minor key energy on which we’ve always thrived, but arrives to this moment of catharsis, this more mature musical rapture, uplifted by Davey’s banjo and Zach’s lovely horn arrangements.”

Milia goes on to describe the process of recording the new record:  “As the album was materializing, it amazed us how much of an unintentional return to our original form it felt like. Like a long-awaited sequel to our wonderfully naive debut album The Orion Songbook—separated by so much time and life progression. What made that first album special was that it was so raw, earnest, unapologetic. We didn’t know any recording rules so we didn’t care if we were breaking any. On the Northline was like finding that joy all over again.”

On The Northline will be out February 16 via Loose Music and can be pre-ordered now.

On the Northline Tracklist:

1. Swore I Had a Friend

2. Everywhere but beside You

3. Magdalene (That’s Not Your Name)

4. On the Northline

5. Mercury Sable

6. Clarkston Pasture

7. In the Money

8. Bloomfield Marriott

9. First Song for Lauren

10. The Machines of Summer

11. I’m Not the Boy

12. Wherefore